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What is negligent entrustment and vicarious liability?

When you are injured in a car accident, you may be subjected to extensive physical pain and suffering. However, in the aftermath of the incident, you might also find yourself struggling to pay your medical and other bills, especially if you are forced to miss work and therefore lose wages. Thus, it often becomes imperative for car accident victims to do everything they can to ensure they recover the fullest compensation possible from those who may be held liable.

One way to do this is to file vicarious liability and negligent entrustment claims. Under these theories, a party may be sued and ultimately held liable even if they were not driving. One example, and discussed in another post, is the theory of respondeat superior. Here, an employer may be held liable for the actions of its employee. Thus, if an employee who is driving a company vehicle causes an accident that leaves an individual injured, that victim may be able to sue the employer, thereby giving him or her a better chance of recovering full compensation.

If an accident is caused by a minor, then a victim may be able to hold that minor's parents liable for damages, even if the child is not on his or her parents' insurance. Of course, it becomes pertinent to determine if the car was lent to the minor by the parents, which is something with which an attorney can assist.

Vicarious liability and negligent entrustment are far-reaching legal theories that can help victims recover the compensation to which they are entitled. However, these matters can be quite complex, so it may be in a victim's best interest to consider speaking with a Tennessee personal injury attorney to determine the best course of action.

Source: FindLaw, "Vicarious Liability and Negligent Entrustment," accessed on Nov. 26, 2014

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