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Charleston Personal Injury Lawyers

Understanding Negligent Entrustment: What It Is and When It Applies

Negligent entrustment is a legal concept that holds someone responsible for entrusting another person with a dangerous object, such as a vehicle or firearm, that causes harm to a third party. For example, if someone lends their car to a friend who they know or should know is a reckless driver and that friend causes an accident, the person who lent the car could be held liable for negligent entrustment.

To understand how this works, let's break down the typical elements of a negligent entrustment claim:

  1. Duty of care: The person who entrusted the dangerous object had a duty to exercise reasonable care in doing so.
  2. Breach of duty: The person breached that duty by entrusting the object to someone who they knew, or should have known, was likely to cause harm.
  3. Causation: The entrustment of the dangerous object was a cause of the harm that resulted.
  4. Damages: The third party suffered damages as a result of the harm caused by the dangerous object.

For example, let's say a father lends his car to his teenage son, even though he knows his son has a history of reckless driving. The son causes an accident and injures another driver. In this case, the injured driver could potentially bring a claim for negligent entrustment against the father, since he knew his son was likely to cause harm by driving recklessly and still entrusted him with the car.

Negligent entrustment can also apply in situations where someone entrusts a firearm to someone who is not legally allowed to possess one, or when a company entrusts a piece of equipment or machinery to an employee who is reckless, incompetent or not properly trained to use it.

It's important to note that negligent entrustment is a complex legal concept. To be successful in a claim for negligent entrustment, the plaintiff must be able to demonstrate that the person who entrusted the dangerous object knew or should have known the danger posed by the person to whom they entrusted it.

If you believe you have been the victim of negligent entrustment, it's important to seek the advice of an experienced attorney. A knowledgeable attorney can help you understand your rights and options under the law, and can assist you in pursuing a claim for negligent entrustment.

At our law firm, we have extensive experience handling a wide range of personal injury claims, including those involving negligent entrustment. We are dedicated to helping our clients achieve justice and fair compensation for their injuries, and we have the knowledge and resources necessary to navigate the complex legal landscape of negligent entrustment claims. If you have been injured due to the negligent entrustment of a dangerous truck, car or other object, contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled attorneys.