A Parent’s Legal Liability for Accidents Involving Their Children

Kids make mistakes, and as a general rule, the law does not allow people injured by a child’s negligent actions to seek compensation from the child or from the child’s parents. However, when a child causes an injury due to willful misconduct or is engaging in certain designated dangerous activities when an accident occurs, a parent or guardian may be legally responsible for any injury or property damage caused by a child’s negligent conduct. The most common example of this is when a minor causes a traffic accident.

Broken HeadlightIn Florida, a parent or guardian who verifies a minor’s driver’s license can be held financially liable for any injuries resulting from an accident caused by the minor. There is no limit on the amount of recovery. However, in order to establish that a parent or guardian is responsible for a minor’s negligent conduct, the victim must still establish that the elements of a negligence lawsuit have been met. Specifically, this requires an accident victim to show that the minor’s negligent conduct caused the accident that resulted in the accident victim’s injuries. Importantly, there is no requirement that the parent or guardian was at all negligent in supervising the minor.

Teen Causes Single-Vehicle Accident, Injuring Seven

Earlier this week in Tampa, seven people were injured in a single-vehicle accident involving a Ford Explorer SUV. According to a local news source covering the accident, the driver of the SUV was a 14-year-old boy who was transporting six passengers. Evidently, the teen attempted to make a lane change but noticed that another driver had occupied the lane. As the teen aborted his attempt, he overcorrected. The teen then lost control of the SUV, which spun out of control until it struck a nearby highway barrier. No other vehicles were involved in the collision.

All seven people inside the SUV, including the driver, were injured as a result of the accident. Six of the seven were taken to a nearby hospital with serious injuries. When the boy’s aunt was asked why an unlicensed 14-year-old was driving the car, she explained that she had allowed him to drive so that he could practice his driving before obtaining his license. She also explained that this was not his first time behind the wheel.

Have You Been Injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident with a Minor?

If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a car accident with a minor driver, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The skilled personal injury attorneys at the South Florida law firm of Friedman, Rodman & Frank have decades of experience assisting their clients with seeking compensation after being involved in serious auto accidents. We understand that being involved in an accident involves not just physical recovery but emotional recovery as well, so we cater our representation to each client’s needs. To learn more, call 877-448-8585 to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated personal injury attorney.

More Blog Posts:

Florida Appellate Court Invalidates Arbitration Agreement, Rejecting Nursing Home’s Argument, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published March 30, 2017.

State Court of Appeals Invalidates Nursing Home Arbitration Contract, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published April 13, 2017.

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