Massachusetts Court Discusses Negligent Entrustment Claims Against a Car Owner

A person who lends a vehicle to a dangerous driver in Massachusetts may be found negligent if the driver causes a collision that results in bodily injury. However, there are specific requirements that a plaintiff must meet in order to demonstrate an automobile owner’s culpability for an accident. A Massachusetts court recently considered the negligence of a car owner and what a plaintiff needs show to establish the right to claim damages. If you were injured by a negligent driver while driving a loaned car, you may be entitled to compensation, and it is crucial to talk with an experienced Massachusetts personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

The Injuries Sustained by the Plaintiff

The plaintiff was injured in a collision caused by the defendant driver, according to reports. At the time of the collision, the defendant driver, who was 26 years old, had ADHD and autistic spectrum disorder. He lived alone but was supported by his legally split parents. The automobile that the defendant driver was driving at the time of the accident belonged to the defendant’s mother.

Despite the fact that the defendant’s mother was aware of his previous accidents, she allegedly let him to drive the car as if it were his own. The plaintiff eventually filed a case against the defendant and his mother, citing negligence against the mother among other reasons. She then filed a motion for summary judgment to dismiss the matter.

Pursuing Claims Against a Car Owner

The registered owner of a vehicle is deemed to be accountable for the activities of the vehicle’s driver under Massachusetts law. The Act specifically stipulates that evidence that a rented car was registered to a person is prima facie evidence that it was driven by someone for whom the owner was legally liable. The registered owner bears the burden of showing the lack of required control under the law.

The defendant mother was the owner of the vehicle the defendant driver was driving at the time of the accident in the case at hand. As a result, she had the burden of establishing that she was not to blame for the defendant’s behavior. The court stated that this is a high bar to clear, and even if a defendant proves there was no master-servant connection, the case would usually go to a jury. The key point, according to the court, was not whether the owner had authority to govern the driver, but whether the owner had the authority to do so. The defendant failed to prove her right to summary judgment on the issue of negligence, according to the court. As a result, her motion was dismissed.

Speak with an Attorney in Massachusetts

People who lend their cars to drivers who they know are dangerous to others should be held responsible for any injuries the drivers cause. If you have been injured by a careless driver, you should consult with an attorney about your possibilities. The Law Offices of John C. Manoog, III’s experienced car accident attorneys can educate you on your rights and assist you in pursuing the maximum amount of damages available under the law. You can reach us through our form online or at 888-262-6664 to set up a conference.



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