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Guest Passengers and Entrustment To Others

Guest Passengers and Entrustment To Others

Whether friends or family members, guest passengers are common occurrences when driving a vehicle.  A driver has a duty to avoid placing the occupants of his vehicle in a dangerous predicament.  This duty is enhanced when the guest passenger is young or when the situation increases the odds of escaping a perilous event. Thus, it goes without saying that in most instances a driver’s negligence is not imputed to a guest passenger because in most instances a guest passenger is not in a position of influencing the driver’s behavior and thus incapable of control over the driver.  Indeed, a guest passenger typically has no duty to supervise the driver.  One exception is a guest passenger allowing an unlicensed driver to drive.  Moreover, a guest passenger assumes the risk if knowingly and voluntarily rides with a driver known by the guest passenger to be impaired and/or intoxicated.

Likewise, owners of vehicles are ordinarily not responsible for damages that occur while another person  is operating the vehicle.  In other words, ownership of the vehicle does not create liability.  There are, however, exception to this general rule.  For example, if the owner knew or should have known the borrower was physically or mentally incompetent to drive then the owner can be held responsible for allowing the borrower to drive.  Other exceptions include when a driver other than the owner is on a mission for the owner or is an agent or employee of the owner.

Nearly 75 years ago my father, J. Minos Simon, began the family tradition of providing exemplary legal services to the citizens throughout the local communities and the state of Louisiana.  A tradition that I proudly embraced and have tried to fulfill for nearly 30 years.  Simon Law Offices, Cajun Strong, and rebuilding lives throughout Louisiana one client at a time.