The short answer is, “Yes.” However, like many subjects in the law, it depends on a number of factors.
When you give someone permission to drive your vehicle, you are entrusting your vehicle to that person. You are ensuring others on the road that the person will drive your vehicle in a safe manner and in accordance with all traffic laws. However, if an entrustee gets into an accident, you may still be liable for the damage to another person and their vehicle.
So how can you be liable? To be liable for negligent entrustment a person suing you must prove
(1) that YOU entrusted a vehicle
(2) to an unlicensed, incompetent, or reckless driver;
(3) that you KNEW OF SHOULD HAVE KNOWN that the driver was unlicensed, incompetent, or reckless;
(4) the DRIVER was negligent on the occasion in question; and
(5) the driver’s negligence proximately caused the accident.
Therefore, in order to be held liable, not only must you be negligent in entrusting your vehicle, but the person who was driving your vehicle must be negligent too, and that negligence must have caused the accident. So, be wary of who drives your car, and the manner in which they are driving. If you should entrust your vehicle to someone you know is not a good driver, chances are you are liable for negligent entrustment.
Be aware who you let get behind the wheel! As for Insurance issues, that’s another beast altogether.
This blog site provides only general information about the law and does not, under any circumstances, constitute legal advice. You should not act or refrain from acting based on these materials without first obtaining the advice of professional legal counsel.