Who Is Liable for Damages in a Teenage Auto Accident?
When an individual is hurt in a car accident, he/she has two options for recovering compensation for damages: file an insurance claim or sue whoever was at fault for the collision. However, what happens when the driver who is found at fault is a minor? Will that minor’s parents be held liable for the damages? Today, we go over who is liable for damages and injuries in a teenage auto accident.
When Are Parents Liable for Damages Caused by Their Minor Children?
If your teenager is 18 years old, he/she is a legal adult and will be held liable for damages in a car accident if found at fault. Drivers who are under the age of 18 are considered minors, which means that in a car accident the minor’s insurance company will still need to deal with any personal injury claims filed. If a lawsuit is filed, the plaintiff does not have a right to compensation unless both of the following are true:
- The injuries were caused by the minor’s negligence or failure to exercise reasonable care
- Driver was acting with the knowledge and permission of his/her parents
A parent is generally not liable for a teenager’s negligence. However, a parent who entrusted an automobile to a minor knowing that the teenager exhibits reckless behavior may be held liable for injuries suffered by a third party due to the child’s negligence.
What Damages Will A Parent Be Held Responsible For?
If you placed your teenager on your car insurance policy, it does not matter who is legally liable for the car accident, financially. Your car insurance company will pay the other driver for any injuries and damages sustained. An exception to this would be if the teenage driver committed a criminal wrongdoing instead of a negligent wrongdoing, which resulted in a motor vehicle crash. All car insurance policies exclude coverage from any such claim.
Contact a Lawyer at Our Firm Today for Assistance with Your Claim
If you are a teenager, or a parent to a teenager, involvement in a car accident can be devastating. You will need to worry about your injuries as well as the injuries and property damages you (or your minor) caused. Conversely, if you were hit by a teenager driver who was being negligent, you deserve to be compensated for your losses.
If you or a loved one was injured in car accident caused by a minor, get in touch with our office. We will guide you through the process of building a case to ensure that your interests are represented.