In some circumstances an owner of the vehicle can be held accountable for its use by another person. In Texas, a claim of negligently entrusting a motor vehicle can establish legal liability if the plaintiff can prove the following:
* The owner provided or allow the vehicle to be used by another;
* The person driving was unlicensed, incompetent or reckless;
* The owner knew or should have known of the incompetency of the driver or his or her recklessness;
* The driver was negligent and caused the accident.
Entrustment equals permitting a driver to use the vehicle and the important time is when the vehicles lent. Permission to use the vehicle can also be implied through a course of conduct or a lack of objection to its use.
When a driver does not have a valid drivers license, or is otherwise incompetent to drive such as someone who may be drinking at the time the vehicle was lent can lead to a negligent entrustment claim.
The recklessness or dangerousness of the driver should be determined at the time the vehicle was lent to the driver.
Of course there are other ways that a motor vehicle may be liable for its use by another such as an employee who is on the job for the company at the time of an accident and who is in the course and scope of their employment.
If you are loved one have been injured in an accident and have questions regarding whether the doctrine of negligent entrustment may apply contact the best personal-injury attorney you can find and discuss the matter with them as soon as possible, after the accident.