Can the girl friend be charged with something for giving over the keys knowing that her boyfriend had been drinking? 19 Answers as of April 30, 2013

My son and a friend had been drinking with friends. The friend asked his girl friend to use her car, and knowing they'd been drinking she handed him the keys. My son was a passenger and they had a crash that killed them both.

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Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
Perhaps.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 4/30/2013
Merdes & Merdes, P.C.
Merdes & Merdes, P.C. | Ward Merdes
Yes, you should have a good claim. She should not have given her car keys to an intoxicated person. It is called "negligent entrustment." I am sorry for your loss. Call an Alaskan personal injury attorney ASAP. Be sure to inquire about UIM claims under Alaskan law, AS 28.20.445. Also, keep an eye on the two year statute of Limitations found in AS 09.55.580 and AS 09.10 .070. I wish you well.
Answer Applies to: Alaska
Replied: 4/30/2013
Graves Law Firm
Graves Law Firm | Steve Graves
The girlfriend can be sued. You need a lawyer. See one immediately.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 4/29/2013
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
She could be if she knew they were not competent to drive.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 4/29/2013
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
The girl friend may have been negligent, and her insurance company may have to cover the incident. See a lawyer who specializes in accident cases.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/29/2013
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    If she knew he had been drinking heavily and gave the car to him and he wrecked it (are these the facts?) then she may be liable. Has any one been in touch with her carrier?
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 4/29/2013
    Candiano Law Office
    Candiano Law Office | Charles J. Candiano
    This is a terrible tragedy. A Wrongful Death suit should be brought against the at-fault driver and the owner of the car. A Dram Shop action should be explored against any bar, restaurant, or private party that served the driver alcohol after he was "obviously intoxicated."
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 4/29/2013
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    Regardless of whether she knew he had been drinking, as the owner of the car she is responsible for all injuries and damages that car causes while being driven by a driver who had the permission of the owner to use it. There is a chance you could get a claim for punitive damages to stand if you can prove that she knew that the driver of the vehicle not just "had been drinking" but was intoxicated at the time she loaned him her car. Punitive damages put a lot of pressure on the insurance company to resolve the claim.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 4/29/2013
    Law Office of Christian Menard
    Law Office of Christian Menard | Christian Menard
    What you are describing is the classic case of negligent entrustment. When someone entrusts her car to someone who should not have it, such as due to intoxication, that is negligence. I suggest you hire an attorney as soon as possible
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/29/2013
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
    Yes, the driver's estate could be liable for money damages. Talk to an experienced accident lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 4/29/2013
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    You can sue her estate for contributory negligence.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 4/29/2013
    Quinn Law Group, LLC
    Quinn Law Group, LLC | Sean E. Quinn
    First and foremost, sorry about the loss of your son. There is nothing worse than losing a child. Second, your son's estate could pursue a civil claim against the girlfriend for her negligence and recklessness in entrusting the car to her intoxicated boyfriend. The key to the analysis is the girlfriend's knowledge of impairment. If she knew, she can be held accountable. I would urge you to contact an experience personal injury attorney in your jurisdiction.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 4/29/2013
    Law Offices of Stanley S. Lopata
    Law Offices of Stanley S. Lopata | Stan Lopata
    I'm sorry for your loss of your son. As parents and heirs of your son you can have a lawsuit against both the driver and the owner of the car in which he was riding. The owner is responsible for the actions of the driver up to $15K; as an owner that turns over her car to an obviously drunk drive, she will be held to account for that negligence. You ought to talk to a personal injury lawyer ASAP.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/29/2013
    Curry, Roby & Mulvey Co., LLC
    Curry, Roby & Mulvey Co., LLC | Bruce A. Curry
    You son's estate would have a valid claim against both the driver and the girlfriend. I would attempt to pursue both claims, although you should expect the other side to argue that your son assumed the risk of his injuries by getting into a vehicle with an intoxicated driver.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 4/29/2013
    Law Offices of Frank M. Nunes, Inc.
    Law Offices of Frank M. Nunes, Inc. | Frank M. Nunes
    I am so sorry for the loss of your son. As a parent myself I know how sadden you must be grieving the loss of your son. The girlfriend may be responsible if her driving was careless.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/29/2013
    Gregory S. Shurman, LLC
    Gregory S. Shurman, LLC | Gregory S Shurman
    My condolences go out to you and your family. Regarding your question, the girlfriend can be liable for the accident, as she had negligently entrusted the vehicle to her boyfriend.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 4/29/2013
    David P. Slater, esq.
    David P. Slater, esq. | David P. Slater
    Yes, both owner and driver are responsible.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 4/29/2013
    Koning & Jilek, P.C.
    Koning & Jilek, P.C. | Jonathan Neal Jilek
    Maybe.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/29/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Yes, there is a high probability there is a cause of action, criminal and civil if she knowingly let a drunken person drive. This issue is if you son, also drinking and riding with a person who was drinking gives rise to recoverable damages to the parties he left behind.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/29/2013
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