Available 24/7 Free Consultations
24/7 (928) 778-2660

Understanding Negligent Entrustment in a Car Accident Case

Posted on July 3, 2024 in

group car accidentCar accidents are a very common occurrence on the roads of Arizona with over 119,000 reported cases in 2022 alone. These accidents often have devastating consequences, both physically and financially. In the midst of the chaos and confusion that follows a car accident, determining who is at fault and what legal actions can be taken can be challenging and delay can hurt your potential claims. One crucial factor that may play a significant role in a car accident case is the concept of negligent entrustment (when the owner of the adverse vehicle allows another to drive when circumstances indicate that this creates increased risk of danger to other drivers on the road). This legal principle holds individual vehicle owners accountable for allowing (entrusting) someone else to use their vehicle if they know that the person being allowed to drive that car is unfit or incompetent to operate it safely. An example is a parent allowing a minor child with a history of poor driving skills to drive at night on a long trip without supervision or assistance.

If you have a negligent entrustment claim, a lawyer from Jensen Phelan Law Firm can provide legal guidance and support. Our two attorneys have over 67 years of combined experience working on a wide range of Arizona car accident cases. We can guide you through the legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve. 

What Is Negligent Entrustment in an Arizona Car Accident Claim?

Negligent entrustment is an important legal concept that arises in Arizona car accident claims when a vehicle owner permits another individual, who is known to be incapable or unfit, to operate their vehicle. This form of negligence is based on the knowledge of the vehicle owner about the driver’s lack of skill or fitness to safely drive.

For instance, if a car owner lends their vehicle to a friend who has a history of driving while intoxicated (DUI) or who has never driven a car before, this could be a textbook case of negligent entrustment. The owner’s awareness of the potential danger while still allowing the unfit individual to drive forms the basis of this liability. 

How Do You Prove Negligent Entrustment in a Car Accident Case?

To prove negligent entrustment in a car accident case, you’ll need to build a clear and convincing argument that demonstrates the vehicle owner’s responsibility for the events leading to the accident. The following is a breakdown of what needs to be proven:

  • The driver was incompetent to drive safely at the time he or she was given permission to operate the vehicle. This can be due to a lack of experience, impairment, or a known propensity for reckless behavior. 
  • The defendant vehicle owner (the entrusting individual) knew or should have known about the driver’s incompetence. This implies that a reasonable person in the vehicle owner’s position would have recognized the risk and refused to let the individual drive their car. 
  • The defendant vehicle owner decided to entrust the driver with the vehicle. This act of entrustment is a crucial point to establish, showing that the owner willingly allowed the driver access to the vehicle. 
  • The driver’s incompetence directly led to the plaintiff’s injuries. It must be shown that it was the driver’s inability to operate the vehicle safely that was the primary cause of the accident and subsequent harm.

Proving these elements can be complex, which is where a lawyer can be invaluable. They can gather the necessary evidence, argue on your behalf, and establish the crucial link between the vehicle owner’s decision to entrust their car and your injuries. Their support can be pivotal in establishing fault and securing the compensation you deserve.

How Can a Car Accident Attorney Help Me With an Arizona Negligent Entrustment Claim?

Finding the assistance of a skilled car accident attorney is a critical step in navigating the complexities of a negligent entrustment claim in Arizona. Here’s how our lawyers can assist your case: 

  • Evidence Collection: We can help gather the documentation, witness statements, and expert testimonies needed for a winning case. 
  • Legal Knowledge: Our attorneys have a deep understanding of the specific legal standards surrounding negligent entrustment in Arizona, ensuring your claim is solid and actionable and worthy of a full and fair insurance settlement. 
  • Negotiation Skills: Our seasoned attorneys negotiate effectively with insurance companies to secure a fair settlement that reflects the full extent of your injuries, pain and suffering, other harms, losses and damages.
  • Court Representation: If a settlement cannot be reached, our attorneys are prepared to advocate on your behalf in court, presenting a compelling case to the judge and/or jury.

Our attorneys don’t just manage the legal process – they empower you to focus on your injury and quality of life recovery, offering peace of mind during a tumultuous period. Our support can be the difference between you feeling lost in the legal system or navigating it with confidence.

Need Help Navigating a Negligent Entrustment Claim? Contact Jensen Phelan Law Firm Today

Navigating the legal waters of a negligent entrustment claim can feel overwhelming, especially when you’re already dealing with the aftermath of a car accident. At Jensen Phelan Law Firm, our dedicated team stands ready to guide you every step of the way. With a keen understanding of Arizona law and a compassionate approach to your unique situation, we’re here to make sure your voice is heard and your rights are protected. 

To get started, simply call (928) 778-2660 or complete our contact form. We’re here to fight for your rights and help you secure the justice you deserve.