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Can You Sue a Minor for a Car Accident?

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If a negligent driver has injured you, you may be facing significant, unexpected financial hurdles:  property damage, medical bills, possible lost wages or disability, etc.  You may be entitled to recover from the negligent party or their insurance.  But what if the other driver was a teenager?  Are the rules different?  Can teens be held responsible for car accidents?  How would they even repay you for your damages?  Learn below about recovering after an accident caused by a minor, and contact a knowledgeable Glendale car accident lawyer if a negligent driver in Southern California has injured you or a loved one.

Parental liability for a minors’ car accident

Personal injury lawsuits against minors generally apply a different standard than lawsuits against adults.  Courts will ask whether the minor was acting carefully as measured by the level of care and responsibility we would expect from children of the same age.  Under a certain age limit, kids cannot be held responsible for anything, while slightly older kids can be held responsible only for intentional harm.  Teenagers can generally be held responsible for their actions.  Under certain circumstances, parents may be held vicariously liable for the actions of their children.  California has specific laws about parental responsibility for car accidents caused by their minor children.

In California, parents are jointly and severally liable for car accidents caused by their children.  This means that an injured party can sue either the child, the parents, or both.  California law requires that a parent sign a consent form to allow their minor child to drive, and that consent form imposes liability on the parent for any damages caused by the minor’s negligent or otherwise wrongful conduct in connection with driving a motor vehicle.  The parent may be held responsible for the victim’s medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.  Parents are on the hook until the child turns 18 or the parent withdraws their consent for the child to drive.

Additionally, in the case of car accidents, insurance coverage is usually available.  Minors driving will generally be covered by either their own insurance or by their parent’s insurance policy.  If the minor does not have insurance, or if the parent owns the car they are driving, then you can generally go directly to the parent’s insurance policy.

Get Help after a Serious Crash from Our Glendale Personal Injury Lawyers

If a negligent driver in California has injured you or a loved one, get help seeking damages from a seasoned professional by contacting the talented and compassionate Glendale personal injury attorneys at McReynolds Vardanyan LLP for a free consultation at 818-855-2115.

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