Ordinarily, in personal injury cases related to auto accidents, the drivers of the cars are the parties who may potentially be held liable for damages. But occasionally, responsibility can spread further. Negligent entrustment is a legal theory which extends legal liability past the driver of a vehicle to the owner of that vehicle, even if they were not present. If you have been the victim of an auto accident in Alabama, negligent entrustment may give you and your lawyer additional options for recovering your medical costs.
How Does It Work?
The idea behind negligent entrustment is that the owner of a vehicle is responsible to lend their car only to someone who they can trust as a competent driver. If they knowingly lend the vehicle to someone who they know to be incompetent, and someone is injured as a result, both the driver and the vehicle owner shoulder part of the blame for creating the situation which led to an injury.
Elements of Negligent Entrustment
To successfully prove this argument, there are four elements your lawyer must establish. They are:
- The owner allowed the use of the vehicle
- The driver was incompetent
- The owner knew of the driver’s incompetence
- The driver’s incompetence caused your injuries
Of these elements, the third—the owner’s knowledge of the driver’s incompetence before the auto accident—is usually the most difficult to prove. Alabama law requires that the owner have specific knowledge of the driver’s history or habits which demonstrate or affect their driving ability.
If you’ve been in an auto accident or received another personal injury, Carey & Hamner, P.C. in Houston County, AL, will help you pursue all responsible parties. Their diligent lawyers are here to help you quickly, accurately, and successfully file your claim so you can receive coverage for your damages. To start the process, call (855) 435-4797 or send a message online.