Parental Liability for Car Accidents Caused by Minors

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.

14-Year-Old Boy Injured Seven in Highway Accident

Earlier this month, a 14-year-old boy has been charged for driving without a license and other related charges after authorities determined he was responsible for causing an accident that injured seven people. According to a local news source covering the accident, the boy was with his aunt, who permitted him to get behind the wheel of a Ford Explorer SUV so that he could practice driving.

While he was operating the SUV, the teen began to make a lane change, but the lane was occupied by another vehicle. As the teen attempted to get back into his own lane, he overcorrected, losing control of the vehicle. The SUV crashed into a nearby barrier wall, where other vehicles then struck the SUV. Thankfully, no other vehicles were involved in the accident. All seven people inside the SUV sustained serious injuries.

Have You Been Involved in a Car Accident with a Minor Driver?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Maryland car accident with a minor driver, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. While each case depends heavily on the specific facts surrounding the accident, the at-fault minor’s parents or guardian may be financially liable. Alternatively, the insurance company covering the car may be responsible. To learn more about Maryland car accidents, and to discuss your case with an experienced personal injury advocate, call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation. Calling is free and will not result in any obligation to you unless we are able to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

More Blog Posts:

April Is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published April 11, 2017.

The Continuing Problem of Drunk Driving on Maryland Roads, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published March 28, 2017.

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