Tom Hanks and spouse Rita Wilson recently became the target of a personal injury lawsuit after their son Chet hit another motorist while driving drunk. The lawsuit claims Hanks knew his son was intoxicated and gave him the keys anyways.
Sometimes celebrities can teach us the important lessons in life, like what not to do when lending out your vehicle. What happened to Hanks and Wilson is known as vicarious liability, or negligent entrustment in this case. If evidence can prove Hanks knew his son was intoxicated and lent him his personal vehicle anyways, he may be in trouble. Depending on the circumstances, Hanks could have to cough up money to pay for the other driver’s medical expenses and damages.
So the next time your child asks to use the family car to go to a high school party, be careful about giving away the keys if you know drinking or drug use could be involved. If you know your child is going to a party, not only should you be concerned about his or her safety and wellbeing, but also your own personal liability and the safety of others.
Negligent Driving, Vicarious Liability and Louisiana
Now, if you are reading this blog because a negligent or reckless driver has hit you and it turns out the car was lent to the person by another owner, keep the following in mind. States follow different laws when it comes to vicarious liability and car accidents. Louisiana has its own rules for these cases. When parents negligently lend vehicles to minors under their care, depending on what happened, they might be held liable for causing accidents.
The success of your case would depend heavily on the circumstances of the accident. Louisiana’s laws on vicarious liability are difficult to navigate without an experienced attorney.
The Lafayette personal injury attorneys at Galloway Jefcoat have helped car accident victims hurt by negligence for 20 years.