Legal Question in Personal Injury in Arkansas

Motorcycle fatality

My 25 yr. old son borrowed his friends motorcycle in June 2007. He was just going up the road to a store. He should not have been driving, his BAC was .05. My question is, is his friend responsible for letting him drive? My son was flown to the hospital and soon after was pronounced dead. He left behind 2 small daughters and 5 younger siblings.

Asked on 5/07/08, 3:15 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Lawrence Silverman Law Firm of Lawrence Silverman

Re: Motorcycle fatality

In some courts, yes,the "NEGLIGENT ENTRUSTMENT" legal doctrine could be applied to hold the "friend" responsible. The "NEGLIGENT ENTRUSTMENT" theory will be explained in greater detail below.

(Note however that although I am licensed as a lawyer in New York,

I am NOT licensed to practice in Arkansas, and I cannot state to what extent Arkansas courts hold defendants liable for NEGLIGENT ENTRUSTMENT.)

GENERALLY: the lender of a vehicle is NOT liable for the negligence of the borrower of the vehicle. However, there are exceptions, including the NEGLIGENT ENTRUSTMENT doctrine, which holds the lender of the vehicle responsible, i.e., liable if the lender either knew or should have known that the borrower was mentally or physically unfit to drive, e.g., because the "friend" in this case either knew or should have known that your son was under the influence of alcohol when he borrowed the motorcycle.

Therefore: The "friend" could be found to be responsible, i.e., held liable in a personal injury lawsuit based on a "NEGLIGENT ENTRUSTMENT" legal theory argument, i.e., if the "friend" had lent his motorcycle to your son for your son to drive, even though it can be established that the "friend" knew or should have known that your son was under the influence of alcohol and therefore wsa in no condition to drive .

You may call my office and leave me a message or send me an e-mail for further information. My telephone number and e-mail information are each listed and available by using this LAWGURU website's ATTORNEY PROFILE link for my office.

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Answered on 5/07/08, 11:32 pm
Brandon Moffitt Moffitt & Phillips, PLLC

Re: Motorcycle fatality

It depends. The facts of each case determine if a successful cause of action exists. I would be happy to visit with about the potential matter. Just contact my office at your convenience. You can reach my office via email or by my toll free number.

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Answered on 5/07/08, 3:41 pm

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