Lending car to friends/Negligent Entrustment

Lending your vehicle to a friend or family member

We've all lent our cars to a friend or to a family member at some point in our lives.  Most of us don't realize in certain circumstances we can be on the hook ourselves if the person we lend our car to gets into a wreck. Those circumstances involve when we lend our car to someone who shouldn't be driving. This is what the law refers to as Negligent Entrustment.

Negligent entrustment claims arise when an unlicensed, incompetent, or reckless driver causes damages while driving motor vehicle owned by someone else. A party injured by such a driver must generally prove five components(1) that the owner entrusted  the vehicle to the driver; (2) that the driver was unlicensed, incompetent, or reckless; (3) that the owner knew or should have known that the driver was unlicensed, incompetent, or reckless; (4) that the driver was negligent in the operation of the vehicle; and (5) that the driver's Negligence resulted in damages (Amaya v. Potter, 94S.W.3d 856 [Tex. App. 2002]).

Next time someone asks to borrow your car, make sure they are legally allowed to drive. If you don't you can find yourself on the defendant end of a lawsuit. 

-CM

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