Question Detail: I was hit head on by a 17 year old underage minor on a major highway. She was going the wrong way and cited 100% at fault. Both vehicles were completely totaled. I have already had two surgeries and need three more (back, neck, shoulders, left wrist and forearm with permanent hardware). My medical bills will be at least 200K. She only has 100K in insurance and I only have 100K in insurance. She is on her father's insurance policy. Since I am told there is not enough money available for my many injuries, can this young minor's father and mother both be held responsible for the amount of insurance they have on their policies? The car is in the father's name. What is negligent entrustment? And how might this apply?
Answer: It is impossible for me to answer your question without knowing more about the facts surrounding ownership of the car she was driving. Your claim can be filed with the driver's auto policy, the owner's auto policy and your own policies, if any. In Iowa you do not need negligent entrustment as a theory of recovery. We have a statutory provision making owners legally responsible for the driver's negligence so long as they were driving with the owner's knowledge and consent; so negligent entrustment isn't necessary. See Iowa Cod Section 321.493. This is somewhat of a complicated area of the law so you need to hire a lawyer with knowledge of how to proceed in Iowa auto insurance law and then follow your lawyer’s advice. Many people simply are not carrying enough insurance so you’re not alone.