If the owner of a vehicle knew at the time he or she allowed the driver to operate a vehicle that the driver was unqualified to operate the vehicle, the owner could be liable for negligent entrustment, also known as wrongful entrustment of motor vehicle. Ohio law states that the owner of a vehicle shall not allow one to drive their vehicle if they know or have reasonable cause to believe that the person: does not have a valid driver’s license; has a suspended driver’s license; or is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The code lists some more obscure reasons, which can be found here. When the owner and driver live in the same household and are related to each other, the law assumes that the owner knows that the household member’s driver’s license is invalid.
While making a simple connection between the owner’s reasonable knowledge of the driver’s listed issues and the permitted use of the vehicle can trigger criminal liability, it does not necessarily trigger liability for personal injury. For the owner to be liable for the actions of the driver in a personal injury case, there has to be a causal connection between the violation of the negligent entrustment statute and the injury. Examples include: a father allow his fourteen year old son to drive a vehicle; loaning a vehicle to someone who drinks frequently for the purpose of attending a drinking party. This Summit County personal injury attorney near Barberton has the experience and expertise to navigate the complexities of the negligent entrustment laws.
To learn more, read my other related personal injury posts, where I wrote about medical bills in Ohio personal injury cases, slip and fall personal injury cases in Ohio, bifurcating personal injury trials in Ohio, Ohio traffic accident tips, Ohio personal injury tips, Don’t forget to look at my personal injury page. I also wrote about the potential criminal and traffic offense side of this issue in the following articles: suspended driver’s license and Ohio changes to DUI laws.
Attorney Gigiano is a Medina County traffic attorney in Wadsworth and a Medina County personal injury lawyer in Wadsworth. To learn more about the work Attorney Gigiano has done for his clients, take a look at the Daniel Gigiano Reviews, reviews found in a number of websites, and articles and links to his work. If you have questions about this or other questions you need answered by a Wooster traffic lawyer near Orrville, an Akron traffic lawyer near Barberton, or a Stark County traffic lawyer near Massillon, please call Attorney Daniel F. Gigiano at 330-336-3330.