Meadville Tribune

Letter of the Law

April 28, 2006

Using Caution In Lending Motorized Possessions To Others

by Alan Pepicelli Esq.

Anyone sustaining personal injury or property damage because of the negligent conduct of the operator of a motor vehicle may recover monetary compensation for provable damages resulting from such conduct. In many cases, however, the law imposes civil liability not only upon the operator of the vehicle, but also from the vehicle’s owner, as well.





I. NEGLIGENT ENTRUSTMENT



The owner of a motor vehicle who lends or entrusts his vehicle to an incompetent driver may be held personally responsible for any personal injuries or property damage caused to another person, if the owner knew or should have known that the driver was incompetent to operate the vehicle.



Example: The owner decides to lend his automobile to his friend, who the owner knows has a long history of speeding tickets and traffic citations, and has a tendency to drive fast and furious. The driver causes an accident in which the victim is seriously injured. The victim may sue the owner, as well as the driver because the owner knew, or reasonably should have known the driver’s history for recklessness, and the owner nevertheless let the reckless driver use his automobile.



Example: While at a party, the owner lets the driver, who has been drinking to excess, borrow his truck to get more ice. While enroute the driver causes an accident in which the victim is injured. The victim may sue the owner, as well as the driver, because the owner knew, or reasonably should have known that the driver was incompetent to operate a motor vehicle.



II. PERMITTING UNAUTHORIZED PERSON TO DRIVE



Under Pennsylvania law, it is illegal for any owner of a motor vehicle to permit an unlicensed driver to operate the vehicle. In the event that an unlicensed driver causes an accident, the vehicle owner will be held liable for any money damages awarded to the injured party.

Text Only
Letter of the Law
  • Jail Report



    Click page to view

    April 10, 2013

  • Using Caution In Lending Motorized Possessions To Others Watts & Pepicelli, PC

    814-336-4000

    Past President of the Crawford County Bar Association;

    Member of PA Bar Association;

    Association of Trial Lawyers of America

    Member of Trial Lawyers of Pennsylvania

    April 28, 2006

  • The Importance of Gathering Evidence at the scene of an Accident Watts & Pepicelli, PC

    814-336-4000

    Past President of the Crawford County Bar Association;

    Member of PA Bar Association;

    Association of Trial Lawyers of America

    Member of Trial Lawyers of Pennsylvania

    March 27, 2006

  • Straight Talk on Living Trusts Ross C. Prather is a partner in the Law Firm of Prather, Prather and Higgins, LLP and concentrates his practice in Estate Planning and Administration, and Criminal and Civil Litigation. He received a B.A. from the College of Wooster, a J.D. from Drake University, and an M.A.T. from Brown University. He is the former Chief Public Defender of Crawford County, and is currently the Vice President of the Crawford Central School Board.

    March 20, 2006

  • Contracting To Build Your Own Home John Swick

    Allegheny College,BA 1986

    Duquesne University, MBA 1993

    Duquesne University, JD 1994

    March 13, 2006

  • The Importance Of Choosing Full TORT Coverage Watts & Pepicelli, PC

    814-336-4000

    Past President of the Crawford County Bar Association;

    Member of PA Bar Association;

    Association of Trial Lawyers of America

    Member of Trial Lawyers of Pennsylvania



    March 10, 2006

  • Family Law Mediation and Arbitration The Pennsylvania State University, 1968

    Duquesne University School of Law, 1977

    Member – Crawford County, Pennsylvania and American Bar Association

    January 20, 2006

  • Alan L. Pepicelli PROPERTY OWNER'S LIABILITY FOR ICE AND SNOW ON SIDEWALKS Watts & Pepicelli, PC

    814-336-4000

    Past President of the Crawford County Bar Association;

    Member of PA Bar Association;

    Association of Trial Lawyers of America

    Member of Trial Lawyers of Pennsylvania

    January 20, 2006 1 Photo