Is Parent Liable If Teen Son Or Daughter Responsible For Car Accident?

Following occurrence of an accident, an accusation of fault could apply to any driver. Drivers that have demonstrated negligence are the ones that are most apt to be blamed.

Facts To Be Considered During Determination of Fault

Did the parents know that the teen was a danger to others? Had either parent been in a vehicle while the teen was driving? Had the parents’ son or daughter had any previous collisions, even small ones? Had that son or daughter received any tickets from police?

Had the teenager been acting under the authority of the parent? Had he or she been doing something for the family? If so, then that fact would confirm the existence of the parents’ liability. That would be the case, even if the some of the teen’s time had been devoted to an activity that was not meant to help the family.

In some states, parents are asked to assume liability when signing a child’s driver license application. That signature erases any doubt about the fact that the teen’s mother and father, or the guardian should be held liable for any accident-caused damages.

Did the parent have legal custody of the teenager that caused the damage? After a teen’s 18th birthday, neither parent could be held liable. Their son or daughter would qualify as an adult as per an Injury Lawyer in Sarnia. Was the involved vehicle in the child’s name? A “yes” answer would remove the parents from liability, if the same vehicle had been insured.

If the vehicle driven by a licensed youth had carried insurance, would that guarantee coverage of damages by the insurance company?

The answer to that question would depend on the nature of the accident. The insurance company would cover the damages, if those had not been caused by performance of a criminal act.

If, while carrying out an errand for the family, some of a teenager’s time was spent at a local ballpark. And if there had been a collision at the same ballpark, the insurance should cover the resulting damages. The act of visiting a ballpark does not belong on a list of criminal activities. Still, the parents could be held liable. The insurance company would have a reason for increasing the size of their dividend.

Suppose, though that a licensed youth has lied about his or her plans, in order to get the car keys. Then picture that same youth picking up some friends and trying to rob a small neighborhood store. Finally, imagine the fleeing youth getting into an accident, after having committed the robbery.

Those details illustrate the sort of situation that an insurer would refuse to cover. Consequently, the parents’ new and unanticipated expense would probably become the teenager’s added burden.