When you are involved in a motorcycle or car accident that was caused by another driver, it is relatively easy to establish the fault and have their insurance company pay you a fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
However, in the same scenario, the odds of you receiving any monetary compensation can outright disappear if the driver discloses they are not driving their own vehicle. If you find yourself in such a situation, contact an experienced Texas motorcycle accident lawyer to discuss what legal options are available to you.
Your attorney will factor in the “negligent entrustment” legal principle to evaluate your claim, and will pursue an appropriate legal strategy to help you obtain your rightful damages.
What is Negligent Entrustment?
According to Texas laws, the vehicle owners must be careful in determining who they allow to use/lend their vehicle. To ensure that the vehicle owners are cautious in doing this, the law assigns an additional layer of liability via negligent entrustment.
This principle means that if your accident was caused by someone who was not the vehicle owner, the actual owner can be held liable for your damages. However, the negligent entrustment is not a blanket policy — i.e., it does not work in every case where the driver who caused the accident was not driving their own vehicle.
As per the Texas laws, to be able to use this principle, your case must establish the following:
- The vehicle owner loaned their car/motorcycle/truck to the driver
- The driver was lawfully unable or unfit to drive the said vehicle
- The vehicle owner was aware of the inability or unfitness of the driver
- The driver acted in a negligent manner while driving the vehicle
- Their negligent behavior resulted in your accident and injuries
So, negligent entrustment will not work in cases where the driver borrowed/acquired the owner’s vehicle without their expressed permission. Make sure you have an accomplished Texas motorcycle accident lawyer on your side that can assess all aspects of your claim and provide you with the right legal advice.
Reckless, Incompetent, or Unlicensed
If a vehicle owner loans their car/bike to someone who is not capable of driving safely or worse, does not have a valid driver’s license, the accident victim can sue the vehicle owner for negligent entrustment. This also includes a vehicle owner loaning their car to someone they know have been using drugs and/or drinking.
The recklessness of the driver should be established at the time the vehicle was loaned to them. The principle of negligent entrustment is not as straightforward as it may sound. Working with a Texas motorcycle accident lawyer who has experience in these cases will work in your favor.
Work With A Competent Texas Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for Your Case
If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident, and you think that the negligent entrustment doctrine may apply to your case, reach out to us at Kirk Law Firm. Dana G. Kirk and his skilled team will look at all potential sources of recovery and hold the vehicle owner accountable for carelessly entrusting their car/bike to a reckless, incompetent, or unlicensed driver.
Contact our dedicated Texas motorcycle accident lawyers today to set up a free, no-obligation case evaluation.