The Doctrine of Negligent Entrustment in Maryland Car Accident Cases

Maryland car accidents are unfortunately far too common and often result in serious injuries and lifelong trauma for those involved. While some accidents are pure accidents with no one to blame, many accidents are unfortunately the result of someone’s negligence. Usually, the negligent party is the driver. For example, distracted driving, driving under the influence, or driving too fast and recklessly can all lead to accidents, and the driver engaging in the risky behavior may be liable to the victims from these accidents.

However, there are certain cases where someone other than the driver may be liable to an accident victim, even if they were not on the road when the accident happened. The doctrine of negligent entrustment can make someone liable if they entrust a car to another and give them permission to operate that car, even though they know or should know that they are incompetent, inexperienced, or reckless. For example, if you lend your neighbor a car, knowing that he recently had his license suspended for driving under the influence and is currently intoxicated, and they get into an accident and hurt someone else, you may be liable to the accident victim. Thus, one does not need to be directly involved in the accident in order to be liable to those harmed.

Recently, a state appellate court issued a written opinion on the topic of negligent entrustment. The defendant permitted his son, who he knew suffered from a seizure disorder, to drive his automobile. While driving, his son suffered from a seizure and struck another car, killing both the driver and the passenger inside. The deceased victim’s family filed an action against the defendant, claiming that it was negligent for him to have entrusted his car to his son. The jury found him liable, and the appellate court affirmed, making this case a perfect example of how a plaintiff may be able to recover from more than one party when there has been an injury or wrongful death.

In the aftermath of an accident, it can be difficult to spot and navigate various issues that may arise with your claim, including negligent entrustment. Because of this, accident victims are encouraged to consult with a personal injury attorney, who can help them pursue claims of negligent entrustment and ensure that all those who are responsible for a victim’s injuries are held accountable for their actions.

Do You Need a Personal Injury Attorney?

If you or a loved one have recently been injured in a Maryland accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Contact Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal Injury Lawyers, today to discuss your claim. Our dedicated attorneys have decades of experience assisting clients in navigating the often complex details of personal injury claims. We represent clients who have been injured in Maryland car accidents, slip and falls, motorcycle crashes, and any other accidents. To learn more, and schedule your free, no-obligation consultation, contact us today at 800-654-1949. Calling is risk-free, as we won’t charge you for our services unless we can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

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