When Is the Car Owner at Fault for the Accident?
15 November 2017No Comments
In Texas, a car owner can be held liable for the damages caused by another driver when the owner allowed the driver to borrow the owner’s vehicle. This is because insurance usually follows the vehicle instead of the driver. For example, if you allow your friend to borrow your vehicle to go to the bank and the grocery store, your insurance company could be liable if your friend causes an accident while driving your vehicle. The same would apply if you allow a co-worker or relative to borrow your vehicle.
However, there are some cases where the owner may not be held liable. The best step you can take to protect your rights if a driver is not the owner of the vehicle is to contact our Texas car wreck lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. You need an attorney who has experience handling car wreck cases to investigate the circumstances of your accident to determine all liability parties. By suing all parties who may have some liability for your damages, you increase your chance of recovering full compensation for your losses and injuries.
Negligent Entrustment of a Vehicle
In Texas, a car owner can be held liable for damages caused by another driver if that owner negligently entrusted the vehicle to that driver. To prove a negligent entrustment cause of action in Texas, you must prove:
- The owner of the vehicle loaned the vehicle to another person;
- The person who borrowed the vehicle was a reckless driver, unlicensed, or incompetent;
- The vehicle owner should have known or knew that the intended driver was reckless, incompetent, or unlicensed;
- The driver who borrowed the vehicle negligently operated the vehicle; and,
- The driver’s negligence was the cause of the victim’s injuries.
While you might be able to prove that the vehicle’s owner allowed another driver to borrow the vehicle, the driver was negligent in causing a crash, and the crash caused your injuries, it can be difficult to prove the other two elements required for you to recover compensation from the vehicle owner. Proving that a vehicle’s owner knew or should have known the other driver was reckless, incompetent, or unlicensed can be tricky. An experienced Corpus Christi car wreck lawyer understands these elements and what steps to take to prove that the vehicle’s owner is liable to the driver for your damages.
Holding All Parties Responsible Liable for Their Actions
A car accident can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages. If your injuries require you to have surgery, a lengthy hospital stay, and physical therapy, you could be out of work for several months. The medical costs and loss of income can be substantial. When you add your pain and suffering damages to these financial damages, your accident claim can quickly exceed the insurance coverage for one party.
By holding the driver and the owner of the vehicle liable for your damages, you can increase the amount of insurance money available to compensate you for your losses. Therefore, you want to consult a Texas car wreck lawyer to determine if any other parties can be named as liable parties for the car accident.
You also want an experienced attorney who understands how to prove liability in a car wreck case. Even though you may have a driver and an owner to hold liable for your damages, you must still prove that the driver caused the crash that resulted in your injuries. If you cannot prove fault, you cannot recover compensation for your claim. Furthermore, if the other side can prove that you contributed to the cause of the crash, your compensation could be reduced under the state’s comparative fault laws.
Get Help Now from a Texas Car Wreck Lawyer
Car accident claims can involve complex issues of law, such as the negligent entrustment cause of action. Our car wreck lawyers understand the laws applicable to cases involving borrowed vehicles. Let us help you recover the money you deserve for your accident.
Call The Bandas Law Firm, P.C. at (361) 541-6413 or use our contact form to request additional information or schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys. Our law firm is located in Corpus Christi, but we are nationwide attorneys.