Negligent Entrustment of a Motor Vehicle

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Ehline Law car accident law firm

Negligent entrustment attorneys are the legal professionals that handle lawsuits that involve the owners of certain types of property. It could be gun that you entrust a mentally ill person with, it could be a school that an administrator trusts a child molester with, or even a private or commercial vehicle. a For example the owner of a motor vehicle, who entrusts another individual with the use of the vehicle for a temporary period of time. During this time when the actual owner of the motor vehicle has no use of it, a third party is injured by the vehicle.

Understanding What a Negligent Entrustment Lawyer Does

Negligent entrustment attorneys are the legal professional that handles lawsuits that involves the owner of certain types of property. For example the owner of a motor vehicle, who entrusts another individual with the use of the vehicle for a temporary period of time. During this time when the actual owner of the motor vehicle has no use of it, a third party is injured by the vehicle.

Negligent Entrustment Lawsuits

When this type of lawsuit is brought against a party that has been negligent, the plaintiff (injured party), will be required to show similar proof using the general principals of negligence. They will need to prove a theory of negligent entrustment that the owner of the vehicle had knowledge of the individual entrusted with their vehicle was careless or reckless.

Citations:

CNA Risk Control Bulletin http://www.cna.com/vcm_content/CNA/internet/Static%20File%20for%20Download/Risk%20Control/AutoFleet%20Safety/RC_Auto_Bul_Negligent%20Entrustment_CNA.pdf

 

Two Theories of Negligent Entrustment

There are two basic theories of entrustment that can be used to establish liability, but these may depend on what state the injured party resides and they include:

  • Actual Knowledge: Using this theory the plaintiff will need to show that the owner of the property entrusted the vehicle to an individual they actually knew was unable to operate the motor vehicle safely. In order to prove this the person that the owner gave the vehicle to temporarily would have been an individual that has a mental capacity issue preventing them from operating a vehicle safely, is inexperienced or has a poor driving record.
  • Constructive Knowledge: This theory does not require the owner of the vehicle to have prior knowledge of the reckless or careless tendencies of the person they loan their automobile. Instead this focuses on whether the owner at the time of entrustment knew of specific instances of carelessness or recklessness by the driver they loan their vehicle to or if it is a commonly known fact in the community. When this is proven the owner may then be held liable for negligent entrustment.

Negligent Entrustment Lawsuits

When you or a loved one has been involved in a motor vehicle accident, sustaining injuries from a crash that involves a vehicle that is owned by someone other than the driver it may be possible to hold the owner legally responsible. The lawsuit can use the theory of negligent entrustment; however this type of case is complex and requires legal representation by an accomplished lawyer. The personal injury advocate will be able to evaluate the circumstances of the accident and determine if the actual owner can be held liable under negligent entrustment legal requirements, when they have temporarily lent their vehicle to another individual.