What if you allow your drunk uncle to drive your car knowing that he has been arrested and convicted of drunk driving, can you be liable if he hits and injuries someone?
Yes, it’s called negligent entrustment.
An incompetent driver is one who by reason of age, experience, physical or mental condition, or known habits of recklessness, is incapable of operating a vehicle with ordinary care, so when the owner allows the incompetent to drive his car liability follows.
One court indicated that a person’s homeowner’s policy may provide coverage since the courts look at the legal theory of liability not the immediate cause of liability. Where a policy seeks to exclude coverage for an accident arising out of the use of an automobile, coverage will still be found if the theory of liability establishes negligence independent of the use of the automobile, which negligence is covered under the policy.
Marquis v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 265 Kan. 317, 328–29, 961 P.2d 1213, 1221 (1998).
Upland Mut. Ins., Inc. v. Noel, 214 Kan. 145, 519 P.2d 737 (1974) held that exclusion from coverage of liability arising from ownership, maintenance, operation or use of automobiles while away from the premises did not extend to cause of action based on alleged negligent entrustment of automobile to a known careless and reckless driver. In other words, just because your not driving doesn’t necessarily mean the court will find you faultless.
The rationale of the ‘negligent entrustment’ cases is not founded upon the negligence of the driver of the automobile but upon the primary negligence of the entruster in supplying the chattel, an automobile, to an incompetent and reckless driver.
In cases where the other driver does not have adequate insurance to cover your injuries this might be a place for you to look for compensation.