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Explaining the doctrine of negligent entrustment

Any number of expenses can accompany a car accident in San Antonio. On top of medical expenses and vehicle repair or replacement costs, you could be left needing to replace the support provided by a loved one lost in a collision. Many of those expenses may go beyond what is available through auto insurance, which could place you in the position of needing to seek compensation from the driver at fault. Yet what if that driver was teen or young adult with little resources to his or her name? Many of those who come to us here at The Law Office of Roland R. Esparza in such a predicament are often happy to here that some legal recourse may still be available. 

If the driver that caused your accident was indeed a teen (or a driver without insurance or other resources), then the likelihood that the vehicle involved belonged to someone else may be high. The legal doctrine of negligent entrustment allows you to assign liability to those who may have loaned their vehicle to another, only to see that person cause an accident with it. 

The elements required to assign negligent entrustment to an auto accident were established by the Texas Supreme Court. They are: 

  • The owner entrusted the vehicle to another
  • That driver was either reckless, incompetent or unlicensed
  • The owner was aware of this fact 
  • The driver was indeed negligent while driving 
  • That negligence was the cause of your accident

Notice how one of these elements is that the vehicle owner must have entrusted it to the driver. Thus, you may need to show that the vehicle was not taken without permission. More information on how to assign liability for a car accident can be found here on our site. 

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