Indiana Negligent Entrustment

Negligent Entrustment

Indiana Negligent Entrustment allows for an injured party to recover from the owner of a vehicle who negligently allowed another person to use the vehicle. Negligent entrustment is a cause of action, which allows for the recovery of damages when an individual entrusts another individual with an instrument, being fully aware that individual cannot handle said instrument. Negligent entrustment typically occurs in auto claims.

Negligent Entrustment in other states

Though every state maintains laws to establish a negligent entrustment claim, a general requirement is the plaintiff must be able to prove the owner of the vehicle had reason to believe the person they allowed to use their vehicle endangered other motorists. Click here to learn about Ohio Negligent Entrustment.

Indiana Negligent Entrustment

As a negligent entrustment claim allows for the injured party to hold a third party (the vehicle’s owner) liable for the negligent actions of another party (the driver), it is also a form of vicarious liability. In order to prove a claim of negligent entrustment, a plaintiff must prove the following:

    1. An entrustment occurred between the owner of the vehicle and the individual trusted to operate the vehicle with care;
    2. The individual operating the vehicle is incapacitated or incapable of using due care;
    3. With actual and specific knowledge that the person is incapacitated or incapable of using due care at the time of the entrustment;
    4. Proximate cause; and,
    5. Damages.

Subrogation lawyers

Often, Indiana Negligent Entrustment cases often hinge on whether the defendant had actual and specific knowledge of the incapacity of the negligent party. Indiana Courts have held that is not enough that the owner of the vehicle knew the driver was irresponsible or even reckless in the past. To prevail, the plaintiff must show the owner knew the driver was unfit at the time of entrustment. It is also not sufficient to show that the negligent party did not have a valid driver’s license to prove the owner’s knowledge of incapacity. Proving an Indiana Negligent Entrustment claim requires an attorney familiar with these nuances. Consult with one of our subrogation lawyers early in your claim to maximize your chances of recovery.