teenage boy sitting on the ground next to a silver car with a large dent and red scrapes, the teen is on the phone with a nervous look on his face

What is Negligent Entrustment?

How Crash Liability May Fall on the Vehicle Owner

For those who have been injured in a car crash, holding the responsible person accountable for the damages they caused is often a high priority. While in many cases it is as straightforward as liability falling on the other driver(s) involved, there are some instances where the vehicle owner may assume partial or total liability. These cases typically fall under Georgia’s negligent entrustment doctrine.

Negligent entrustment centers around the notion that vehicle owners have a responsibility to ensure that their cars are being used safely and competently. Should an individual or business knowingly entrust a vehicle to a person without a valid license, with no or little driving experience, with a history of crashes, or with a significant physical/mental impairment, they can be held liable for the damages in a crash.

How Can You Prove Negligent Entrustment?

As with any negligence claim, certain elements must be met in order to pursue compensation. For negligent entrustment, a claimant must prove:

  • The defendant owned or had control over the vehicle.
  • The driver was negligent in operating or unfit to use the vehicle.
  • The defendant had actual or reasonable knowledge that the driver was unfit to use the vehicle.
  • The driver caused the crash and the claimant’s injury.

How Often is Negligent Entrustment Applied?

It may be unsurprising to know that negligent entrustment can be complicated to apply in most cases. However, some of the most common instances using this doctrine involve parents loaning their vehicles to their children or certain drunk driving accidents where a person knowingly gave the keys to someone who was intoxicated.

Regardless of the scenario, drivers should be mindful of who they lend their vehicles to and drive with caution when borrowing someone else’s.

Augusta Car Accident Attorney

Negligence has no place on the roads. The DREAM TEAM at Jamie Casino Injury Attorneys helps you pursue compensation for your injuries or the death of your loved one following a car crash. Schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys today by calling (912) 809-5335.

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