Many residents of the Clark County area often have this question on their minds. There has been an average of 4.9 people per hour who have moved to the Las Vegas area since 2017. Many times, these individuals will rent a moving truck from a company, such as U-Haul, Ryder, or a similar company. These cars can be hard and difficult to drive, especially for those who are inexperienced handling large vehicles. Even more, these drivers will likely be unfamiliar with the streets of the city, creating cause for concern.
This creates conditions that will increase the hazard of being involved in a serious car crash. Vehicle owners are often held liable for damages if they allow incompetent motorists to use their vehicles, as established under the negligent entrustment rule. However, the doctrine is not always applicable to cases involving commercial negligent entrustment due to the Graves Amendment. This means that attorneys will often have to find a way around this amendment when working on a case involving a similar situation.
This law has two primary provisions, and each has certain limitations.
“Trade or Business” Requirement
Sam Graves, a representative from Missouri, introduced a provision to protect small business against large liability verdicts. This caused large vehicle rental companies to cease operations in certain states.
Because of this, the defendant has to be “engaged in the trade or business of renting or leasing motor vehicles” for the amendment to be applicable. The issue is that there is no defined statements, and Nevada judges must use their own discretion.
The Uniform Commercial Code plays an important role in many commercial cases in Las Vegas. Section 2-104 establishes that a merchant deals in goods of a given type. Under this definition, many U-Haul companies would not be applicable under the Graves Amendment. Many of these companies are not considered vehicle rental companies, but instead as moving supply and storage facility companies.
“Not Otherwise Negligent” Requirement
Even more, there needs to be “no negligence or criminal wrongdoing on the part of the owner (or an affiliate of the owner)” for immunity to be applicable. There are not many vehicle rental transactions that involve criminal conduct, but negligence is another issue.
In this light, negligence can usually be seen as a failure to follow standards of the industry. When the Graves Amendment was passed in 2005, verifying drivers’ licenses was not a standard practice aside from inspection. This is no longer the case. Now, many companies mandate that owners and affiliates check drivers’ licenses before finishing a transaction.
The victim — or plaintiff — may be able to establish third party liability due to negligent entrustment rule once the Graves Amendment has been circumvented. That is good news for injured parties involved in these cases, because the individual tortfeasor — or negligent driver — will usually not adequate insurance coverage for full compensation of sustained damages.
Moving Truck Accidents in Nevada
Large vehicles like moving trucks are often involved in car crashes. This is because the size of these vehicles — and the often untrained drivers — make them difficult to handle.
The experienced Nevada truck accident lawyers at the Cottle Firm understand the law and how to get you the largest settlement for your claim. Contact us today at (702) 722-6111 if you or a loved one have been harmed by a reckless driver.