Who is responsible for damages if someone else is driving my car?

           Did you know that if you allow someone to drive your vehicle, you may be held liable for any resulting injury or damages that occur while he is driving? This theory of law called “Negligent Entrustment of a Vehicle” is based on the negligence of the person who owns the car.

            If a car owner entrusts his car to another, he must be sure that the entrustee is competent and fit to drive.

            An injured victim must prove five things under the theory of negligent entrustment:

1. The entrustee, or driver, was incompetent, inexperienced, or reckless.

2. The entrustor, or owner of the vehicle, knew or had reason to know the driver’s condition.

3. The owner of the car allowed the driver to borrow the car.

4. Allowing the other person to borrow the car created a risk of harm to others.

5. The injuries and/or damages caused were by the negligence of the car owner and the entrustee.

            If an injured party is able to prove the above criteria, there is a case for negligent entrustment. A person can be found negligent if they allow another to use his vehicle when he knows or should know the driver is unfit to drive. For example, if the driver of the car is reckless, incompetent, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the owner of the car can be held liable for any resulting injuries or damages.

            To protect yourself in a situation like this, be sure to have enough liability insurance to protect you, your family, and your assets. You may find more information about the insurance coverage you need by reading “3 Feet From Disaster,” by Accident Lawyer Dirk Derrick.

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