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Negligent Entrustment Of An Auto

Posted by Harlene Labrum | May 02, 2021 | 0 Comments

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), most motor vehicle crashes happen due to driver-related causes such as drunk driving, distracted driving, speeding, and other reckless behaviors. Motor vehicle owners are generally responsible for their car, motorcycle, or truck, and should not allow others to operate their vehicle if those drivers are:

  • Incompetent
  • Unlicensed 
  • Intoxicated
  • Careless or reckless

If an owner allows a negligent or incompetent driver to use their vehicle, the owner could be liable for any accidents and damages that the negligent driver causes. 

If you or a loved one suffered injuries in an accident with a negligent driver, you could have legal recourse and potentially recover compensation from the owner of the vehicle. Contact Labrum Law Firm for help and advice today at (615) 338-9500.

What Is Negligent Entrustment?

Negligent entrustment of an auto refers to an owner negligently loaning their motor vehicle to an unfit driver, making the owner potentially liable for an accident and damages. In some instances, therefore, the owner of a vehicle can be held to account even though they did not physically cause or contribute to the accident. 

Generally, negligent entrustment issues can arise with the following types of drivers:

  • Underage or unlicensed drivers
  • Drivers with known health issues that prevent them from operating a vehicle safely
  • Elderly and frail drivers
  • Intoxicated drivers
  • Drivers with a history of reckless traffic offenses
  • Drivers lacking sufficient training (for instance commercial truck drivers)

How to Prove Negligent Entrustment

A victim hoping to recover compensation from the negligent vehicle owner generally has to prove that:

  • The driver acted recklessly or incompetently
  • The driver had the owner's permission to operate the vehicle
  • The owner knew that the driver was incompetent, reckless, or unlicensed
  • The driver's negligence directly caused the accident and the victim's damages

However, if someone took the car from the owner without permission, the owner is generally not liable for the accident. Proving that the driver had permission from the owner can be challenging, however, an experienced car accident attorney at Labrum Law Firm can help prove your case, and ensure your legal rights remain protected. 

Compensation You Could Recover

If you suffered injuries and extensive car damage due to another driver or vehicle owner's reckless actions, you could be entitled to various types of compensation. While there is no average settlement in negligent entrustment car accident cases, you could seek damages such as: 

Medical Costs

If you suffered serious injuries in a car accident, your expenses could be astronomical. Generally, victims of negligent drivers can recover past, present, and future medical costs. Compensation could also include medications, physical therapy, and medical devices you may require for recovery. Victims who suffered permanent or temporary disability could be entitled to household services and costs for any modifications to their vehicle and home, among other expenses. 

Loss of Income

Depending on their injuries, accident victims may be unable to return to work for a considerable amount of time, potentially resulting in hardship for them and their families. In a negligent entrustment case, victims could seek lost income, future lost income, and loss of future earning potential. 

Pain and Suffering

Physical and emotional anguish can make a victim's life a misery, particularly if they suffered catastrophic injuries. If someone else's negligence caused your physical and emotional distress, you are generally entitled to recover compensation for pain and suffering. 

Loss of Life Enjoyment

Victims with life-changing injuries can have their entire life turned upside down and may have to face an entirely new reality. They may have to give up hobbies and activities they used to enjoy or need 24-hour care for the rest of their lives. Victims of reckless drivers could potentially recover awards for loss of life quality and enjoyment. 

Since each car accident claim is unique, victims could seek other or additional damages, depending on their specific injuries and accident case. 

An Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

Victims who suffered harm in an accident due to negligent entrustment of an auto could face unique challenges when trying to recover compensation. However, an experienced car accident attorney from Labrum Law Firm can help protect your rights and fight for what you deserve. 

Investigate Your Accident Fully

A lawyer from our firm will always analyze the facts of your accident comprehensively and aim to establish and prove negligence of the negligent driver and owner of the vehicle. Labrum Law Firm can draw on the help of accident reconstruction experts and other professionals to fully investigate your car crash. 

Dealing with Insurance Companies

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), personal injury cases are generally settled out of court. Unfortunately, insurance adjusters and companies do not always offer fair settlements immediately and are generally more concerned with preserving profits rather than fairly compensating victims. An experienced attorney can protect your legal rights and negotiate strongly for a fair out-of-court settlement.

Calculating Your Present and Future Damages

You may have a good grasp on your current medical bills and expenses, however, how do you know exactly what you may require in the future? A dedicated car accident lawyer can comprehensively calculate your present and future damages. Your attorney will also know how to arrive at amounts for non-economic damages that do not come with receipts or dollar amounts, such as pain and suffering. Knowing what your case is worth will be crucial for settlement negotiations. 

Labrum Law Firm Can Fight for Your Rights

Handling a complicated negligent entrustment case can feel stressful and overwhelming. However, you do not have to go through this on your own. Our committed team at Labrum Law Firm can be here for you and help you pursue the compensation you need. 

We can advise you of your legal rights, build a case against the negligent driver and car owner, and fight for a fair settlement on your behalf. Perhaps most importantly, we can provide you with reassurance and a shoulder to lean on throughout the entire process. 

Labrum Law Firm understands that accident victims may be apprehensive of hiring a lawyer due to the potential financial risks. However, we can put your mind at ease as we do not charge any upfront attorney's fees and will only recover our fee if and when you recover compensation.

Our compassionate team of professionals at Labrum Law Firm are here for you to address your concerns and answer your questions in a free consultation. Call us now to schedule an appointment: (615) 338-9500.

About the Author

Harlene Labrum

Harlene is focused and passionate about helping those injured in car wrecks.  She earned her J.D. at Nashville School of Law and her Bachelor's degree at State University of New York at Albany, awarded with the highest GPA and high honors.  Harlene began her career in law as a personal injury par...

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