So you have been involved in a car accident with a reckless driver in Manhattan, and you are now learning that not only does he or she not have auto insurance, but that the vehicle he or she was driving belonged to someone else anyway. This scenario is that same that many of those that we here at have worked with have faced. Like them, you are likely concerned that were you to seek compensation from the driver that causes your accident, he or she would not be able to offer you much. This raises the question of whether or not the person whose vehicle the driver was using can also be held responsible. 

The legal doctrine of negligent entrustment allows you to assign vicarious liability to auto owners who allow others to use their vehicles. Indeed, Section 388 of New York’s Vehicle and Traffic Law states that vehicle owners are held jointly and severally liable for any deaths or injuries to persons or property that others cause while driving their cars. This allows you to pursue compensation from both parties in your accident to help cover your expenses. 

Oftentimes, however, there are certain elements that must be proven in order to apply negligent entrustment to a case. These include showing that the person who caused your accident had the car owner’s permission to use the vehicle (New York’s law says that such permission can be either express or implied). On top of that, you typically also must demonstrate that the car owner did indeed know of the driver’s propensity for recklessness, yet let him or her use the vehicle anyway. 

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