Monday, September 21, 2015

Parents Can Be Liable for Negligent Teen Driving

In every car accident resulting to a personal injury case, it’s very important to establish who is liable for the unfortunate event. Most of the time, it’s the person behind the wheel, but the blame can also fall on someone else even if they were not present. For instance, parents of a teen whose negligence resulted in an accident can be liable for their child’s action. The question now is when can parents be sued for their child’s actions?

Family Purpose Doctrine

In North Carolina and many other states, there is a rule called Family Purpose Doctrine, which dictates that the title owner of a vehicle is basically liable for negligent acts of a family member using the car. If your teen gets into a wreck and injures someone in the process, you can be sued. Most lawyers advise parents who are buying their teens a car to put it in the teen’s name and buy them their own insurance policy.

Incompetent Driver

Legally, if you let your child drive, especially when you know that he or she is incompetent, reckless or unfit to drive, you could be the person liable for any damage your child might cause. What conditions can be considered incompetence, recklessness or being unfit for teens? Letting the child drive despite being unlicensed or inexperienced are some examples. Also, entrusting the car to a teen that has a history of reckless driving or has an illness that affects their driving. 

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