You have a lot to think about in the immediate aftermath of having been involved in a car accident in Lake County. Because of this, taking legal action is likely not at the forefront on your mind. Yet once the expenses associated with your accident begin to pile up (and you start to see that amount paid out by auto insurers is unlikely to cover them all), you may be left with little choice but to consider it. You may think, however, that any legal recourse you might have had available to you is gone if and when it is discovered that the driver that hit you was not driving their own vehicle at the time.
Yet is this really the case? If one has to borrow a vehicle from another, that may serve as an indicator that they do not have sufficient resources to help you cover your accident expenses. The owner of the car they were driving, however, just might. The legal principle of negligent entrustment holds vehicle owners liable when their cars are used by others to cause accidents. This would allow you to take action against the vehicle owner for entrusting their vehicle to another who then used it to cause a car accident.
Illinois state court rulings have set the standard for applying negligent entrustment as a cause of action in a car accident case. This standard requires that you not only show the court that the vehicle owner did loan out the car that was involved in your accident, but also that they knew (or should have known) that the driver’s demonstrated inexperience, incompetence or recklessness made them more likely to be involved in an accident.