The legal system has changed the way that it deals with parents’ vicarious liability. In the past, parents directed their children’s actions, and were held responsible for those same actions. Today, the legal system studies the circumstances surrounding a child or teen’s behavior. Parents’ vicarious liability applies in some circumstances, but not in all of them.
Sometimes a teen that has disobeyed the law must deal with the consequences of his or her behavior.
At such times, any injured party has the right to sue the disobedient teen. Reckless driving, such as speeding, going through a red light or texting, while at the steering wheel, are actions that can force a teenager to face the consequences, if someone has been injured.
A parent’s knowledge could determine the extent of that same parent’s liability
Had the mother and father of a teenager known about that teen’s propensity to engage in reckless behavior? If those 2 parents had possessed such knowledge, and had still allowed their son or daughter to have the keys to a vehicle in the garage or driveway, then both of them could be held responsible for any accident-caused damages.
Personal Injury Lawyer in Bedford knows that this rule has been enforced on some states, but not all of them. It gives legal authorities the right to make any parent responsible for accident-caused damages, if he or she has lent a vehicle’s keys to any other driver.
In some states the law includes a Family Purpose Doctrine
According to that doctrine, the owner of an insured vehicle becomes responsible for any vehicle-caused damages, if the person with the keys to the set of 4 wheels happens to be another family member.
Insurance companies normally ask for the identity of all the drivers living in the household of the person that has chosen to buy one of the company’s automobile insurance policies. That way, the vehicle’s owner could not claim that the keys were not given to someone that had been viewed as part of the family, prior to involvement of the insured set-of-wheels in a damage-causing accident.
The legal system has the right to apply the Family Purpose Doctrine whenever the person that has borrowed the keys has engaged in performance of an action that would work to serve the vehicle owner’s family. That means any errand that would entail going after some item that should prove of value to those living in the home of the insured vehicle’s owner.
In other words, that same doctrine cannot be used as the basis for making the owner of a vehicle liable for the damages caused by someone that has stolen it, or someone that has grabbed the keys, without gaining permission to use them.