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Negligent entrustment in Wisconsin

| Nov 7, 2019 | Personal Injury |

You know that the potential of being involved in a car accident in Hayward is always there, yet you likely still feel comfortable taking to the streets anyway due to the assumptions that other drivers are as safe and responsible as you are. Yet not all are, and even when such drivers indicate their carelessness or incompetence behind the wheel, people still seem willing to allow them access to vehicles. Many have come to us here at the Lein Law Offices after having been involved in accidents with such drivers wondering if there is any way to hold the people who entrusted them with vehicles legally responsible.

There is, thanks to a legal principle known as negligent entrustment. The logic behind this law is that vehicle owners should take care in who they loan their vehicles to. That need for such care is emphasized by them being held liable for any accidents those using their vehicles cause.

The standard for applying negligent entrustment to car accident cases in Wisconsin has been established through state court rulings. It has been determined that you must prove the following:

  • That the entruster did indeed control the vehicle (either through ownership or authorization)
  • That they permitted the entrustee to operate the vehicle
  • That, at the time of entrusting the vehicle to the entrustee, the entruster knew (or should have known) of the entrustee’s lack of driving capacity

Notice how it states that the vehicle owner had have known (or sufficient evidence existed that they should have known) of the driver’s poor driving capabilities. Thus, not every accident involving an entrusted vehicle meets the standard of negligent entrustment.

You can learn more about assigning liability for car accidents by continuing to explore our site