Were they driving someone else’s vehicle, including a rental? Are you worried about how you and your family will cover all your medical bills and lost wages? Don’t despair, a highly rated injury lawyer with years of experience is here to tell you about getting money from the person or persons who loaned the scofflaw their vehicle.
In a nutshell, negligent entrustment basically means a careless person or company loaned or entrusted property they owned to another careless or reckless person, and someone else dies or suffers serious injuries. You could just as easily negligently entrust a gun to a person as you could a car. But this article is focused on catastrophic injuries caused during a vehicle accident.
The nuances of “entrusting” may be a bit complicated for some people to understand, which causes complex legal battles to determine liability. Sometimes motor vehicle owners don’t understand why they’re guilty of an accident they didn’t cause. Still, this legal principle makes them liable for allowing a negligent and incompetent person to drive their vehicle and cause car accidents when they hand over the keys.
I am attorney Michael Ehline. I have over 30 years of legal experience, first as a paralegal and then as a member of the California State Bar. I have handled hundreds of negligent entrustment claims in Northern California and throughout Southern California courthouses. I wrote this educational article to help people understand negligent entrustment and how Dramshop Laws and other related practice areas are intertwined.
Free Tips to Answer Questions
Ultimately, I will offer some free tips for victims and ways businesses can prevent the risk or another driver’s negligence from boomeranging back to their own insurance company. I will also offer you a free consultation to discuss your potential case and how insurance coverage works. Let’s get to it!
Negligent entrustment attorneys handle lawsuits involving the owner of certain types of property. For example, we sue the motor vehicle owner who consigns a dangerous individual with a car. But before the conveyance, the owner must know the person is a reckless driver. Proving the owner knew this was no walk in the park. It takes a great car accident lawyer to uncover this evidence.
In order to prove negligent entrustment claims, the personal injury attorneys must provide evidence for the following five elements of negligence.
You are entitled to financial compensation if you were in a car accident caused by negligent hiring or negligent entrustment. Therefore, you can call one of our fantastic Los Angeles attorneys and get a sidebar free consultation for our services.
Understanding Respondeat Superior Doctrine
To properly understand these cases, we must be aware of the following legal concepts that explain how to proceed with a truck accident case, for example.
On the one hand, vicarious liability explains that although the defendant trucking company didn’t directly cause the accident or harm to the victim, they were responsible for making sure that wouldn’t happen, so they’re held liable for negligent supervision. Moreover, negligence is determined by the duty of care between the defendant and the victim, whether it was breached or not, and if it caused direct harm to the victim.
If you look at the California Vehicle Code, you will find out how the duty of care works in negligent entrustment cases in Los Angeles County. This document explains how vehicle owners aren’t allowed to let the incompetent driver use their vehicles, as they are likely to cause harm to others.
The vehicle owner mustn’t allow people under the following categories to use their car:
All of these rules are explained in the California Vehicle Code.
Some of the most important are the following:
Vehicle Code 14606(a): This section explains how people should avoid hiring people who lack a license for the appropriate class of vehicle they will be driving.
Vehicle Code 14607: This prevents vehicle owners from lending their cars to anyone under 18 years old unless they’re properly licensed to drive the vehicle.
Vehicle Code 146068(a): Motor vehicle owners must avoid renting their vehicle until they’ve checked the driver’s license of the person who’s going to be driving it and made sure it is 100% legit.
Suppose you’re in Los Angeles county and got in a motor vehicle or truck accident involving negligent entrustment. In that case, not everything is lost, as several defenses can help you reduce the severity of the claim.
Some of them include:
After a vehicle accident, the personal injury law office can establish liability through one of the following two fundamental entrustment theories. However, this will depend on the state where the motor vehicle accident occurred. According to California Civil Jury Instructions, the law firm can use one of the following theories to prove negligence and hold the vehicle’s owner accountable for the accident.
Suppose the injured party chooses to use this theory during their negligent entrustment claim. In that case, they must provide enough evidence to prove they were injured by someone who was utterly aware they couldn’t operate a motor vehicle. They must also prove that the car’s owner could have prevented the driver from using the vehicle.
But you can also establish proof of inexperienced, reckless driving habits/history by producing evidence of their poor driving record, making them an unlicensed driver, or causing an SR22 temporary permit allowing limited driving privileges if a defendant permitted a person like this or even a negligent co-owner to drive. Still, this theory of negligent entrustment cause can feature several liable parties for the vehicle accident under agency rules.
This legal theory may eliminate the premises liability factor from the equation. It suggests that although the defendant permitted the negligent driver to use their vehicle, they weren’t aware of their unfitness to drive. However, they can still be found guilty/liable if the driver’s negligent behavior was a common and widely-known factor in their community. They have no reason not to know about the driver’s inexperience.
When or if you prove this, the owner is liable for their “constructive” notice. (Everyone knew the person was unfit, unlicensed, and inexperienced, so your employer should too. (See, e.g., Perez v. G & W Chevrolet, Inc. (1969) 274 Cal.App.2d 766, 768 [79 Cal.Rptr. 287].)).
In most cases, this isn’t confidential or sensitive information. A motor vehicle accident tends to cause a lot of fuss in local communities, so it would have been expected for the owner to know about the driver’s incapability to drive. These cases are extremely dangerous, as a car accident can cause the victim to face terrible injuries and even die, turning it into a wrongful death case.
Therefore, the victim should hire a personal injury lawyer to get properly compensated for their damages after getting into a motor vehicle accident. Letting someone use your vehicle without supervision can be quite dangerous as anything can happen on the roads.
Therefore, always double-check who is using your car to avoid personal injury and wrongful death claims. In some cases, the owner wants to avoid getting a personal injury claim after a motor vehicle accident, so they admit vicarious liability and let their worker’s compensation insurance cover the car accident.
Negligent entrustment auto accident victims will face years of surgery, hospital and medical expenses, prescription pain killer addiction, and worse. Motor vehicles are powerful conveyances and in the wrong hands. Even a licensed driver can be a killer, or cause mass property damage.
An ordinarily prudent person wouldn’t loan out their gun unless under direct supervision, so why loan out a motor vehicle owned by you or your business? If loaning that vehicle operated by another was a substantial factor in serious injuries or wrongful death, expect lawsuits to fly against such controlling co-owner or others may exist.
For liability to manifest, “knowledge must be shown of the user’s incompetence or inability safely to use the [motor vehicles].” (See Dodge Center v. Superior Court (1988) 199 Cal.App.3d 332, 341 [244 Cal.Rptr. 789].).
Sometimes the employer admits vicarious liability to have work comp kick in and obviate negligent entrustment of a motor vehicle as a direct, express, or implied consent negligence claim under California law. After forming an attorney-client relationship, we will explore these general principles and ideas in more detail.
Sometimes, vehicle accidents will happen in an employment context, such as bus or taxi drivers. In those cases, the employer will be liable for the car accident, as they didn’t research enough during their recruitment sessions. In the best-case scenario, they must have checked the driver’s record and performed a background check to find out whether they were hiring a competent person or not.
However, to win a personal injury case with this defense, the plaintiff must provide evidence of the reckless driving history of the driver and claim that the company should have known about it before the car accident.
Finding the right attorney for your case can sometimes be complicated, especially after going through a car accident and taking care of all the damages caused. However, suppose you decide to file a personal injury claim.
In that case, you must find a reliable lawyer with whom you can create an excellent attorney-client relationship, which is the main substantial factor in winning your case.
Luckily for you, the following list will explain all the elements you should search for in a car accident lawyer:
Getting in a motor vehicle accident is a terrible situation, especially if the accident could have been avoided if safety measures had been implemented. Therefore, if you need legal advice to adequately compensate you for your losses, here at Ehline Law, we have a team of fantastic car accident lawyers.
Serving clients with compassion and empathy is our primary mission. We are ready to help you get the justice you deserve. You must call (213) 596-9642 to get a free consultation with one of our law specialists and learn more about our services and let us help you get back on your feet. Our office remains open 24/7 to take your important call or contact form text message.