After experiencing a car accident in Rockford, your first thought may not be to seek legal action. However, as the medical bills related to the treatment of the injuries you sustained in the collision begin to pile up (along with the estimates on how much it will cost to repair your vehicle), you may quickly realize that you have little choice.
Often, the amount made available to you through auto insurance simply will not cover it all. In such a scenario, seeking compensation from the driver that hit you may be the only way you will be able to handle your accident expenses.
Liability for accidents caused by teens
Yet what if the person who caused your accident was a teen? A teenager driver likely lacks the resources to help you. In such a case, you may wonder if it is possible to assign liability for the accident to the person that entrusted the driver with the vehicle (most likely the teen’s parents or guardians).
It may very well be possible thanks to the legal doctrine of negligent entrustment. The theory behind this principle is that vehicle owners should exercise care in who they loan their vehicles to. If they allow a person who has a poor driving history to use their car, truck or SUV (and that person later causes an accident), then the owner should be liable.
Meeting the standard for negligent entrustment
The standard for applying negligent entrustment to auto accident cases locally has been set by Illinois state court rulings. Vicarious liability is an option when a vehicle owner entrusts his or her vehicle to someone whose driving performance demonstrates any of the following:
Furthermore, the vehicle owner must have known (or should have known) of the driver’s shortcomings.
How can this apply specifically to accidents involving teens? When arguing your case, you can point out that while a parent or guardian likely wants to give a teen the benefit of the doubt when allowing him or her time behind the wheel, statistics shows that teen drivers are more likely than any other demographic to engage in reckless driving behaviors. A parent should know this and thus understand that they are responsible for ensuring that their kids drive safe and liable when they do not.