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Taking legal action is likely not the first thing that comes to your mind after you have been involved in an accident in Lynchburg. Rather, you want to ensure that you and your loved ones receive any needed medical treatment, and that your vehicle undergoes any necessary repairs. Yet once the bills for those services start to come in, you might quickly find yourself in need of additional assistance (even on top of what becomes available through insurance payouts). Seeking additional compensation from the driver responsible for your collision may be your only option. Yet what if it turns out that they were driving another’s vehicle? 

Getting insurance to pay for your expenses may be complicated if the driver is not covered under the vehicle owner’s policy. On top of that, the driver may lack the financial resources to truly offer you any additional assistance. The legal principle of negligent entrustment, however, may allow you to hold the vehicle owner liable for the collision. 

Negligent entrustment assigns liability to vehicle owners when others cause accidents with their cars. Its purpose is to place an emphasis on the importance of only loaning vehicles to responsible drivers. This condition details the key element in assigning negligent entrustment to your car accident case. Virginia state court rulings have determined that in order for it to apply, you must prove the following: 

  • The vehicle owner knew (or had cause to know) that the person they loaned their car to was a poor driver 
  • The driver was indeed reckless or negligent while driving the car 
  • That recklessness or negligence was the cause of your accident 

As you see, under this standard, cases where a person was using another’s car without their knowledge or permission would not apply.