Consider a scenario in which a loved one of yours is involved in a fatal accident with another driver. As the fact investigation proceeds, it becomes apparent that the driver of the other vehicle was driving someone else’s car, and worse had no business being behind the wheel of any car (for example, he had no driver’s license, or it turns out that he had a history of reckless driving behavior). To make matters even worse, not only does he have little money of his own from which to seek a legal judgment based on wrongful death, he had no insurance.
What can you do to improve your chances of recovery?
One possibility may be to establish a legal claim against the owner of the car. The way to do this is through a cause of action known as “negligent entrustment.”
Under a negligent entrustment theory of liability in Texas, you need to show that the owner of the vehicle entrusted it to a driver who was unlicensed, reckless or otherwise incompetent, and that the vehicle owner knew, or should have known, that such driver was unlicensed, reckless or incompetent and that he was negligent at the time of the accident, thereby proximately causing the injury or death to another person.
If you can prove these elements, then you can pursue a claim for compensation against the vehicle owner as well as the driver, and that can make the difference between receiving a settlement or damages award that is appropriate or not being able to do so if the action is against the driver alone.
It is part of the role of your personal injury attorney to match the facts of your specific situation to the applicable law in order to identify all possible causes of action and all plausible defendants, so that your interests either as an injured party or as the surviving relative of someone who dies as the result of the negligent, reckless or even intentional act of another are served as thoroughly and completely as possible.