Washington Law Review


While there are, of course, many unusual and interesting questions relating to the law of automobiles and automobile actions, we all know that the majority of these cases are simply questions of facts. In the ordinary cases principles of law applicable to these facts are well understood, and yet occasionally we encounter a situation the solution of which under former presumably well-settled principles of negligence is not easy. It has been to meet these new and unusual situations which have resulted from the extensive use of automobiles that principles of law hitherto little known or little recognized have developed rapidly, and likewise entirely new principles of law and new doctrines and announcements have taken their place in the body of case law to meet situations and questions which have until recently not been presented. A most interesting and important proposition of automobile law which has apparently not yet reached its natural growth and conclusion is the doctrine of Joint Adventure. This doctrine is of comparatively recent announcement in the courts of this state. Its close and very important relation to automobile liability insurance I will touch upon later. The doctrine in its essence as it has been announced by our Supreme Court simply means that where two persons are engaged in a joint enterprise and adventure in the use of an automobile, the negligence of one is imputable to the other, with the result that one occupant may not recover from a driver or owner and with the further result that in an action against a stranger to the enterprise by an occupant, the negligence of his driver is imputable to him.

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