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Understanding negligent entrustment

As you contemplate the outcome of your recent car accident in Houston, your thoughts inevitably turn to what future action should you take. You may be facing extensive medical bills and expensive vehicle repair costs. Your immediate hope may be that the insurance provider of the driver at fault will help cover your expenses. Yet after learning that they were not driving their own vehicle that the time, those hopes may feel as though they are dashed. That is the assumption that many in your same situation have when they come to see us here at the Law Offices of Richard J. Presutti, PC. 

You will likely be very pleased to learn, however, that when faced with such a scenario, you may still have legal recourse available to you. The legal doctrine of negligent entrustment allows you to hold the owner of a vehicle responsible for any damages or injuries that others cause when driving their car. This means that not only can their auto insurance provider be made to compensate your expenses, but also that they themselves may be financially responsible if insurance coverage is not enough to meet all of your accident expenses. 

In order for negligent entrustment to apply to your auto accident case, however, the circumstances need to meet the statutory standard set through Texas state court rulings. These are: 

  • That the vehicle owner entrusted the car to the driver 
  • That the driver was unlicensed, or had proven themselves to be incompetent or reckless behind the wheel 
  • That the owner knew (or should have known) of the driver’s shortcomings 
  • That the driver demonstrated those shortcomings in your accident 
  • That those shortcomings were the primary cause of your accident   

You can learn more about assigning liability following a car accident by continuing to explore our site.