Negligent entrustment explained
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Negligent entrustment explained

| Jul 19, 2021 | Firm News

After experiencing a car accident in California, you may want to offer the person or parties that caused your accident the benefit of the doubt, believing that your accident was just that. However, that understanding may quickly vanish when you learn they had a history of reckless driving.

Indeed, many come to us here at Banning LLP after learning such news questioning not only can they hold those responsible liable, but also those who entrusted them with vehicles. If you share the same question, then the answer requires a comprehension of the legal principle of negligent entrustment.

What is negligent entrustment?

This philosophy allows for the extension of accident liability to those whose actions enabled one access to a dangerous chattel (in this case, a motor vehicle). The idea behind this legal principle is those vehicle owners should do their due diligence in understanding the capabilities of those that they loan their vehicles.

California’s negligent entrustment elements

However, the fact that the person that caused your accident was not in their own vehicle at the time may not necessarily mean that negligent entrustment applies to your case. Rather, according to California’s Civil Jury Instructions, the following elements must exist:

  • The driver demonstrating negligence in the operation of the vehicle
  • The driver drove the vehicle with the owner’s expressed permission
  • The vehicle owner knowing (or enough evidence existing that the owner should have known) of the driver’s tendencies to drive recklessly
  • The vehicle owner still entrusting the driver with the car despite this knowledge
  • The driver’s recklessness serving as the proximate cause of your accident

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