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Moncks Corner Legal Issues Blog

Defining negligent entrustment

If you have been involved in a car accident in Monck’s Corner were the negligence and recklessness of the driver responsible for the collision was on full display, then your frustrations may inevitably prompt the question of who would allow such a driver access to a vehicle in the first place. Many have come to members of our team here at George B. Bishop, Jr., P.A. questioning whether liability can be extended in their car accident cases to those who entrusted their vehicles to reckless drivers. You may be happy to learn that thanks to the legal principle of negligent entrustment, you can.

The logic behind the theory of negligent entrustment is that a vehicle owner should know better than to loan their vehicle to a driver whose driving skills they know are lacking. Indeed, in establishing the state’s standard for applying negligent entrustment to car accident cases, South Carolina Appellate Courts have adopted the philosophy set forth in Section 360 of the Restatement (Second) of Torts, whose citation implies a “duty on part of lending car owner to not entrust her car to another, when owner knows or has reason to know borrower is likely to use car in manner involving an unreasonable risk of physical harm, because of borrower’s youth, inexperience, intoxication, incompetence, or otherwise.”

Notice that one key element is emphasized here: knowledge. In order for negligent entrustment to apply to your case, the person who loaned the vehicle to the driver that hit you must have had known (or had reason to know) that the driver presented a heightened risk to you and others. You can learn more about establishing liability in your car accident case by continuing to explore our site.