Did you know that the owner of a vehicle is potentially liable for an accident involving a driver of that vehicle?
The basic principle is called negligent entrustment. If the owner knows or has reason to know any of the following, he/she can be liable:
1. Was the driver intoxicated at the time of the accident?
2. Did the driver have a strong history of driving while intoxicated?
3. Was the driver impaired?
4. Did the driver have a strong history of driving while impaired?
5. Was the driver texting/using social media/on the phone?
6. Did the driver have a strong history of driving while texting/using social media/on the phone?
Were there other reasons that the owner knew or should have known as to why the driver should not have been operating the vehicle at the time of the accident?
Owners beware. Any time a lawsuit is brought against the driver, the owner is typically named as well. Often, they will be dismissed from the lawsuit if the driver’s insurance company agrees to coverage.