Negligent entrustment in Texas

Aug 9, 2019

Many in Houston may incorrectly assume that those who seek legal action following a car accident are simply trying to profit of the incident. In reality, a lawsuit may be the last thing on your when dealing with the consequences of a car crash. Yet their may be times when you are forced into seeking compensation from the responsible party. Many in that very situation have come to see us here at the De La Garza Law Group after learning that the drivers that hit them were not driving their own vehicles. If the same was true in your accident, then you may worry that such a fact fact many complicate your pursuit of compensation. 

A legal principle exists known as “negligent entrustment” that allows you to assign vicarious liability to a vehicle owner when they loan their car to another person and then that person causes an accident in which you are involved. The basis of this principle is that the owner must have known (or should have known) that the person they loaned their vehicle to was an irresponsible driver. 

The Supreme Court of Texas has established the standard for applying negligent entrustment in the state. To cite it in your case, the following elements must be present: 

  • The owner entrusted the vehicle to the driver
  • The driver was unlicensed, or had proven themselves to be reckless or incompetent 
  • The owner knew (or should have known) of this fact
  • The driver did indeed drive the car recklessly
  • That recklessness was the proximate cause of your accident

You can discover more information about assigning liability in car accident cases by continuing to explore our site.