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Negligent Entrustment of a Vehicle in California

Negligent Entrustment of a Vehicle in California

Negligent entrustment is when an owner of a vehicle allows an inexperienced and careless driver to drive their vehicle.

Can a Vehicle Owner Be Held Liable for Negligent Entrustment?

A vehicle owner can be held liable for negligent entrustment if they permit an incompetent or inexperienced driver to drive their vehicle. Should that driver get in a car accident, the owner of the vehicle can be held liable even if they did not technically drive the vehicle? Essentially, the purpose of this law is to protect drivers on the road.

Penal Code 193.8(a) PC

An individual can be charged with Penal Code 193.8 PC should they allow a minor to borrow their vehicle since the minor is not legally entitled to drive a car.

What Are Some Examples of Negligent Entrustment?

An example of negligent entrustment is if an owner of a vehicle allows his friend to borrow his car.

Example: Paul has received several speeding tickets in the past and now has a suspended license. Paul takes takes Dan’s car, drives it fast, and gets into an accident with another driver. It is determined that Paul was at fault for the car accident. As such, Dan can be held liable for negligent entrustment.

Lastly, a woman who owns a car allows her 14-year old son to drive her car. The boy takes the car and drives it but gets into an accident while driving. Even though the mother did not drive the vehicle, she can still be held liable for negligent entrustment since she allowed her minor son to drive the car.

What Are Some Possible Defenses to Negligent Entrustment?

Some possible defenses to negligent entrustment include:

  • that the driver did not cause the car accident in the first place; or
  • that the injuries sustained from the accident were not caused by the other driver.

Additionally, one can argue that the car owner was not aware that the driver (who allegedly caused the accident) was not a reasonably safe driver due to having a clean driving record and possessing a valid driver’s license.

Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney

If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident with a potential negligent entrustment issue, contact our Los Angeles car accident attorney at (310) 943-1171. Our personal injury attorneys can provide you with any sort of legal assistance you require.

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