Who is legally responsible if a minor causes an accident? 20 Answers as of June 26, 2013If a minor (42 days away from being 18) chooses to drive a vehicle (registered in the minor's name) without car insurance and without the consent of the parent/guardian - who is legally responsible if the minor is involved in an accident?
Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
If a minor (42 days away from being 18) chooses to > drive a vehicle (registered in the minor's name) without car insurance > and without the consent of the parent/guardian - who is legally > responsible if the minor is involved in an accident.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
In Louisiana the parents of the minor are still responsible for his torts until he is a major. Also, if the vehicle is registered in the minor's name, it had to have been done by a parent or guardian, which may also bring up the question of whether or not there was a negligent entrustment of a vehicle.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
If the vehicle is registered in the minor's name, that person's name also on the title? If so, it is the minor who is legally liable, age notwithstanding. If the 42 days have passed, that person is no longer a minor and can be sued. If the title is in the parent/guardian's name, just saying "I did not give permission" is not enough. As for the insurance, if there is no coverage, then the other party can look to their own Uninsured Motorist coverage: when you buy insurance, one of the events you are insuring yourself against is the possibility that you could get into an accident with an uninsured driver. It is required for just that reason.
Answer Applies to: New York
R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Robert Kelly
The main person legally responsible for a motor vehicle collision is the person (if any) who drove negligently. If the negligent driver was a minor, the minor who drove negligently owes the injured party for the damages. Of course, many minors are judgment-proof due to insufficient assets and minors can sometimes avoid debts by declaring bankruptcy, too. RCW 4.24.190 establishes an action against parents for willful injury to person or property by a minor by saying the following: "The parent or parents of any minor child under the age of eighteen years who is living with the parent or parents and who shall willfully or maliciously destroy or deface property, real or personal or mixed, or who shall willfully and maliciously inflict personal injury on another person, shall be liable to the owner of such property or to the person injured in a civil action at law for damages in an amount not to exceed five thousand dollars. This section shall in no way limit the amount of recovery against the parent or parents for their own common law negligence. [1996 c 35 2; 1992 c 205 116; 1977 ex.s. c 145 1; 1967 ex.s. c 46 1; 1961 c 99 1.] (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=4.24.190). Parents are usually not automatically vicariously liable for the torts of their children, but where parents knew or should have known of a child's dangerous proclivities, then the parents may be liable for negligent supervision. S
Answer Applies to: Washington
Law Offices of Richard Copeland, LLC | Richard Copeland
The likelihood is that the parent and minor will be jointly and severally liable for the injuries and damages the minor's driving causes. Joint and several liability means the injured party can collect from either the parent or minor. The reason for this is that Colorado requires parents of minor applicants for a driver's license to sign a Form 2460, Affidavit of Liability and Guardianship. Parents across the state sign these little forms without giving a thought to the possibility that they've just put at risk all they've worked for so hard over the years. The liability ends when the youngster turns eighteen. You were forty-two days to being off the hook.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. | Josh Lamborn
The minor is responsible unless the minor's parents are somehow negligent themselves in giving the minor access to the car when they had knowledge the minor was hazardous or negligently entrusting the minor with their vehicle. In Oregon there is also the family purpose doctrine that allows you to sue the parents if the car was used for family "business" by the minor. In most cases however, the minor is responsible for their own actions and if there is no insurance involved you have to look to your own uninsured motorist policy to cover your damages because most minors are not worth suing individually.
Answer Applies to: Oregon