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Negligent entrustment explained

In the immediate aftermath of your car accident in Los Angeles, your thoughts are likely focused on recovering from your injuries and/or repairing your vehicle. These issues will, however, inevitably lead to an analysis of the actions of the person that caused your accident. If it is discovered that said person had a history of reckless driving, then you may justly question who would have allowed him or her drive (or granted him or her access to a vehicle). That same question has been shared by many who have come to us here at Pheffer Law for assistance. Like them, you may be pleased to know that you can assign vicarious liability in such cases. 

The legal principle of negligent entrustment allows you to hold a person responsible for allowing a driver known to be careless or reckless to use his or her vehicle. This could open the door to you being able to seek compensation from that person if you choose to do so. Often, you may be left with little choice, as the poor driving history of the driver that hit you may mean that he or she may not have auto insurance or the resources to help cover your accident expenses. 

Negligent entrustment can only be applied to certain cases. To cite it, California's Civil Jury Instructions show that you must prove the following: 

  • The driver that hit you was negligent 
  • That negligence was a contributing factor in your accident
  • The driver was operating his or her vehicle with another's permission
  • That person knew (or should have known) of the driver's reckless or careless tendencies (or driving inexperience)
  • Even knowing this, he or she entrusted the driver with a vehicle anyway

More information on assigning liability after a car accident can be found here on our site. 

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