How does the theory of negligent entrustment work?

The act of teenagers borrowing the family car can be considered a rite of passage in many American families. Most of the time this happens, the result is harmless. But on occasion something can go terribly wrong and an accident ensues that harms others. In such instances, the question can come up whether those who actually owned the car were negligent in allowing another person to drive it. This question comes under the legal theory known as "negligent entrustment."

In Georgia, courts have defined negligent entrustment of a motor vehicle to be when an automobile owner lends his or her car to another person (it does not have to be a family member) to someone whom he or she knows (that is, has actual knowledge) is incompetent to drive or is otherwise habitually reckless. The negligence on the part of the vehicle owner in lending it to someone who should not be driving it must in turn be a "concurring proximate cause" of the accident in addition to any negligence or other wrongful conduct on the part of the driver. If this linkage can be established, then the owner of the vehicle can also be held responsible for any injury or property damage that results from an accident.

One interesting twist on negligent entrustment can occur when the person to whom the car was lent -- the "entrustee" -- is the person who is injured in an accident. In this situation, Georgia courts have held that negligent entrustment does not apply if the entrustee's own contributory negligence resulted in his or her injuries.

If you have been injured in a car accident that involves a driver of someone else's car, then depending on the circumstances you may have a cause of action for negligent entrustment. Consulting with a personal injury attorney who handles car accident cases can be an important early step in evaluating your possible legal claims against the other driver, the person or persons who lent that person the vehicle, or both.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • Super Lawyers
  • The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • Expertise Personal Injury Lawyers In Macon 2016
  • Lawyers of Distinction
  • Nation's Premier Top Ten Attorney - Personal Injury
  • Best Lawyers | Best Law Firms | U.S. News
Email Us For A Response

How Can We Help You?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Macon Office
327 Third Street
Macon, GA 31201

Toll Free: 888-239-2129
Phone: 478-742-8441
Fax: 478-745-9097
Macon Law Office Map

Savannah Office
401 Mall Blvd. Ste. 103-E
Savannah, GA 31406

Toll Free: 888-239-2129
Phone: 912-239-4395
Fax: 912-239-4401
Map & Directions

Review Us

Macon Office

Savannah Office

After Hours Call/Text

Macon - 478-733-0070
Savannah - 912-755-9500