Expanding Potential Personal Injury Recoveries in Maryland With Negligent Entrustment Theory

Under Maryland law, an individual or company that entrusts a motor vehicle to another person with knowledge that such person has a propensity for negligent or reckless driving may be held liable for injuries subsequently caused by that person in a motor vehicle collision. For example, a parent that has given a vehicle to a child as a birthday gift (or even if the parent has simply permitted the use of a family vehicle) with knowledge that the child has reckless driving habits may be held liable for personal injuries caused by the child in a motor vehicle collision. The child’s youth, maturity and inexperience behind the wheel may be relevant factors to consider in the appropriate case. Typically, in order to recover under a theory of negligent entrustment it must be shown that the supplier of the vehicle knew or should have known that the driver would operate the vehicle in a manner that posed an unreasonable risk of harm to others.

In some instances, this theory of recovery may apply to an employer that provides an employee with permission to use a company vehicle with knowledge that the employee-driver would be incompetent or reckless behind the wheel. A key component to this theory of liability is the degree of control over the vehicle exercised by the supplier of the vehicle at the time of the accident. The more control exercised by the supplier the better the chance for succeeding on a negligent entrustment claim. In certain circumstances, negligent entrustment can dramatically expand the opportunity to fully and adequately compensate a victim of personal injury.

Experienced Maryland plaintiff’s personal injury lawyers know that it is essential to evaluate whether a negligent entrustment claim can and should be pursued in the appropriate case. Please feel free to contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Silverman Thompson for a free consultation.

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