Understanding negligent entrustment

On Behalf of | Aug 23, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Your first impulse following a car accident in Pennsylvania may be to focus on your own concerns rather than thinking about the person that caused your accident. Yet oftentimes, the massive medical expenses and personal property costs that accompany a collision leave you with mounting frustrations.

As many of those that come to see us here at the Shelly Law Offices, LLC may attest to, those frustrations only grow if and when you discover that the driver that hit you not only had a poor driving history but also that they were not in their own vehicle at the time. This may prompt the question of whether liability extends to a vehicle owner, as well.

What is negligent entrustment?

The legal principle of negligent entrustment allows for just that. Negligent entrustment adds an additional layer of accountability to vehicle owners demanding that they do their due diligence in understanding who they loan their vehicles to. Should they fail in this regard, you may hold them accountable by pursuing a liability claim against them in conjunction with any claims filed against the driver that caused your accident.

Pennsylvania’s standard for negligent entrustment

Yet simply because the driver that hit you was not in their own vehicle at the time may not mean that negligent entrustment applies to your case. Rather, local state court rulings set the standard for citing this principle. Indeed, you must prove that the vehicle owner knew (or should have known) that the driver’s inexperience or their history of recklessness made them a risk to you and others, and that even knowing this, loaned the vehicle to them anyway.

You can find more information on assigning liability for car accidents by continuing to explore our site.