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Who is liable for your car accident?

On Behalf of | Jan 5, 2020 | car accidents |

It goes without saying that being involved in a car accident in Pottsville is frustrating. You may suffer injuries that, if not life-threatening can still be debilitating and require extensive recuperative therapy. There are also the repairs to your vehicle that need to be paid for. Auto insurance is what most rely on to cover these expenses, yet oftentimes the payout that insurance providers offer may not be enough to cover all of your costs. In such a case, you may be left with little choice but to seek compensation from the person that caused your accident. Yet what if that person was not driving their own vehicle at the time? 

While this fact may not absolve the driver’s fault, it does present the question of whether or not the person who loaned them their vehicle should also be held responsible. The legal principle of negligent entrustment allows for this. It lets you assign third party liability to a vehicle owner even if they are not present when your accident occurs. 

Pennsylvania state court rulings have cited the Restatement (Second) of Torts when reinforcing the state’s belief that negligence is present when one loans their vehicle to another who subsequently causes an accident with it. Yet you need to be able to prove one important element when citing this principle in your case. It must be shown that the vehicle owner knew (or should have known) from the driver’s history that their behavior behind the wheel would likely put you and others at risk. This would exclude cases where the vehicle owner has no reason to believe the driver was reckless or irresponsible, as well as instances where one took another’s vehicle without their permission.