Have you ever heard on the news about a terrible driving accident and part of the news story is the horrible driving record the person had and how they borrowed the vehicle or maybe they were assigned the vehicle as part of their work? Many times we have clients come in very frustrated because it seems to them that insurance is going to get away with something. The very negligent driver doesn’t have a driver’s license. The very negligent driver has a horrific driving record. What you are thinking as you are saying that is that there ought to be a law and in fact there is a law. It is called negligent entrustment.
What it means is that if an owner of a vehicle has such disregard that he allows somebody who has no business driving the vehicle, whether that’s commercially or even in a private home even if it is your own kid that you should have kept the keys from, the owner has the obligation not to act negligent in the entrustment of their vehicle. When people walk in with these denial letters from the insurance companies saying "Well little Johnny was excluded driver and you can see he had a very terrible record and that’s why he was excluded" from the parents policy I’m always wondering well why did the parents allow the driver to drive. Why did he allow Johnny the keys?
The answer is usually that the parents didn’t care and because they didn’t care they let little Johnny drive a vehicle and so the claim that you bring under those circumstances is called a negligent entrustment claim. Generally those are defended by the same insurance company that has just sent you that letter denying the claim. There's lots of ways to think about a denial of claim. One way is to simply figure out a proper pleading for what's going on here. If you are thinking yourself why on earth did that company, why on earth did that person, why on earth did that parent allow that person to drive that vehicle, are they really going to get away with it? Usually the answer is they won’t. You need to talk to an experienced injury lawyer about negligent entrustment. For more information, contact us at 303-782-9999 or start your free personal injury case evaluation today.