Based on the state in which the accident has occurred, parents may be liable for their teenage driver’s actions unless the parents were negligent themselves.
If the parent is the owner of the vehicle, and their child’s negligent actions have resulted in an accident, then the parents may be held liable by law. If you have a teenage driver in your family, it is recommended to add them to your insurance policy to ensure that they are also covered for any accident-related damages.
Who is Liable If Your Child Has Caused an Accident?
A parent may be held liable for their child’s actions leading to an accident in the following cases:
- If they carelessly allowed their young one to drive a vehicle knowing that doing so was unreasonably dangerous
- Failed to restrain or supervise their child even when they were aware that their child’s actions could endanger others
- Consented to the child’s reckless behavior
- The child was acting on the parent’s behalf through a master-servant relationship between the parent and the child.
In several states, the owner of the vehicle that was responsible for the crash could be held liable for injuries, death and property damage related to the accident. This is called vicarious liability. Many states have adopted this law to protect the general public.
In the case of vicarious liability, the individual operating the vehicle who acted carelessly is not the one who is held liable for the accident. Instead, another individual or party who is responsible for their actions is sued. As the teen or young adult driver does not have the financial ability to pay for a personal injury claim the parents are named in the lawsuit.
Liability and Insurance Coverage
It is important to understand that liability and auto insurance coverage is not generally the same. If your child was responsible for the accident that resulted in minor injuries, they could be lawfully blamed for the crash but the losses will be paid by the insured person’s insurance company. On the other hand, if the injuries were serious, you may not be liable for the accident but your insurance carrier could still have to pay if your child has been insured under the policy.
Your child or teenage driver can be insured under your policy if they are specifically named in the policy, or if they reside in the same household, or if they are operating the vehicle with your permission. It is best to contact your insurance agent and understand if your child has been adequately covered.
How Can A Good Car Accident Lawyer Assist You?
It can be a daunting experience if your child’s actions have caused an accident and you are required to bear the financial liability for the same. Hence, if your child has been involved in a crash, contact a reputed car accident lawyer who will review your case and work tirelessly to ensure you do not have to face major financial troubles.
A knowledgeable and seasoned lawyer can help in evaluating any complex issues and help you find the strongest resolution for your case. The car accident lawyers at Douglas and London have some useful information on what you can do to navigate this complicated situations on their website here: https://www.douglasandlondon.com/car-accident-lawyers-nyc/are-parents-liable-for-car-accidents-caused-by-their-children/