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Can I hold parents liable if a teen causes a collision?

Teenage drivers statistically pose a relatively high risk on the road. This is first and foremost because they are inexperienced at driving and at the most, they will have been on the road for just a few short years. Teenagers may also be more vulnerable to peer pressure, meaning that they may be easily convinced to drink and drive or to have many friends in the car who are under the influence. They may also be less risk-averse than the general population.

If you were involved in a collision and the other driver was a teen, you may want to take legal action to hold them liable. But if you can show that they were at fault, you may be able to explore other options for gaining back damages. The following is an overview of why you may be able to hold the parents of a teen liable for the accident.

The Family Car Doctrine

Under the Family Car Doctrine, the liability for damage caused by a minor driver will be transferred to the parents. This holds true even if the minor driver is not formally listed on the insurance policy.

The theory of negligent entrustment

In general, a car owner can be held liable for damages caused if they loan their car to a bad driver. Therefore, if you can show that the parents were negligent in their loaning of the car, they could be liable for damages. If you have suffered damages due to a recent car accident, make sure that you take action to explore all of the possibilities you have to gain compensation.

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