Dealer Liability for Test Drive
An uninsured motorist is test driving a car and rear ends my client. My client only carries liability on her car. Is there any statute or case that attaches liability to the car lot for the negligence of the uninsured motorist?
Answer: The dealer will be liable only if an agent for the dealer went along for the test drive. See: Annotation: 31 ALR2d 1444: "Dealer's Liability for Negligent Operation of Car by Prospective Purchaser or One Acting for Him." General rule is that the dealer is not liable if the dealer is not in the car. But, if the dealer or his employee is in the car, the dealer is liable for the prospective purchaser's negligence. Accord: Downtown Chev. Co. v. Braune, 1937 OK 609, 72 P.2d 842. Otherwise, you have to show negligent entrustment, ie. that the dealer should have known the customer was a really bad driver. That's pretty hard to do.
Posted on Wed, November 13, 2013
by Travis Law Office filed under