In order to safely operate a car or truck, the driver must exhibit skill, patience, and good judgment while on the road. When drivers fail to exercise the appropriate level of caution while behind the wheel, the chance of causing a serious or fatal accident greatly increases. Drivers with little experience, particularly minor children, cause a disproportionate number of accidents. In fact, while teen drivers make up only a small percentage of the overall number of motorists, they are responsible for over 12% of all traffic accidents.
When a minor causes a car accident, certain legal considerations arise regarding the accident victim’s ability to receive compensation for their injuries. As a general rule, those under 18 years of age are considered minors. Maryland law places limits on when minors and their parents can be held responsible for certain conduct. For example, the parents of a minor can be held responsible to pay for damages caused by their child’s willful misconduct.
Generally speaking, parents are not liable for the negligent actions of their children because “kids will be kids.” However, there is an exception under Maryland law when the minor negligently causes a motor vehicle accident. In this situation, the parent or guardian who co-signed the minor’s driver’s license application can be held financially responsible for any injuries that occurred as a result of the minor’s negligence.