Should Tom Hanks Share Liability for His Son’s Drunk Driving Accident?

April 13, 2016

The man who was allegedly rear-ended by Chet Hanks, the son of Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, has filed a lawsuit for damages related to the car accident. Interestingly, Chet is not the only defendant named in the man’s lawsuit. The plaintiff has also named Hanks and Wilson as defendants and wants them to share the responsibility.

According to the lawsuit, the man who was hit claims that Chet had been under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol at the time of the accident. It also claims that both Hanks and Wilson were aware of Chet’s state when they allowed him to drive their vehicle, and should therefore be held partially responsible for the damages caused by their son’s drunk driving accident.

Can You Be Held Liable for Allowing a Drunk Driver to Use Your Car?

In more straightforward car accident cases, authorities look to determine who was at fault by finding out if one of the drivers was acting negligently. If they were, then they will likely be held liable for any damages they caused. There are some instances when a person who was not even present at the accident could be held liable.

Letting someone use a car that you own, regardless of your relationship to that person, could make you liable for any damages they cause in your vehicle.

For example, you could be at least partially responsible for damages done by a driver if:

  • You allow a minor to drive your vehicle.
  • A family member causes an accident with a “family purpose” vehicle you own.
  • You signed a minor’s driver’s license application for the driver.
  • You allow an unfit or incompetent person to drive your car.

What Counts as Unfit or Incompetent?

Allowing any of the following people to use your car could make you liable for car accidents they cause:

  • Inexperienced drivers
  • Unlicensed drivers
  • Elderly drivers
  • Sick drivers
  • Drivers with history of reckless driving
  • Drunk drivers

If you or a loved one was hurt in a drunk driving accident, call or fill out an online form for a free consultation.

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