Parental Responsibility for Car Accidents Caused by Their Child

In New York State, the minimum driving age is just 16 years old. Albeit, young drivers must earn a driver’s permit from the Department of Motor Vehicles, this in no way guarantees that they will be responsible on the road. Even if they are taking deliberate care at every turn, the simple fact that they lack years of experience behind the wheel may lead to dangerous traffic collisions that cause harm and injury.

Who will be held financially responsible?

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a young driver and decide to pursue legal recourse, it is unlikely that you will be able to go directly to them for financial compensation. To some extent, both insurance providers should offer some coverage for the expenses of repairs and recovery, but it might not be enough. At that point, you can sue the child’s parents or legal guardians to cover the differences. If your pain and suffering has been debilitating, you may even attempt to win punitive and nominal damages from them.

Different Responsibilities in Criminal Cases

If the car accident caused by a minor can be linked to a criminal act, liability can take a dramatic shift. If they were knowingly committing a crime while operating the vehicle – such as speeding or reckless endangerment – they could be held directly accountable in a court of law, possibly facing time spent in juvenile hall. Typically, if a case involves the wrongful death of another due to vehicular manslaughter, they could be tried as an adult and face even harsher penalties.

But the law does not necessarily stop at the young driver’s charges and convictions. The parents could be found guilty of actionable negligence for failing to supervise the child in a way that a normal or prudent individual would. Depending on the severity of the damages, the charges of negligence could also conclude with penalizing criminal convictions.

If you were in a car accident that led to injury and destruction of property and an inexperienced, youthful driver was involved, they could be found at fault. Seek legal counsel today by contacting a Long Island personal injury attorney from The Odierno Law Firm, P.C. Together, we can address all the evidence of your harmful collision and build a case that could win you financial compensation for your injuries.