Parental Liability

Parental Liability

Parental Liability In Motor Vehicle Accidents Involving Teens 

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States.

Louisiana and Texas teenagers have worse driving records and higher accident rates. Texas ranks first in fatal crashes involving drivers between the ages of fifteen and twenty. 

The heightened risk of teen accidents is primarily due to driver inexperience and a tendency towards reckless behavior. 

Factors that lead to teen car accidents include:

· Lack of experience

· Lack of ability to recognize hazards 

· Tendency to follow more closely than other drivers

· Tendency to drive faster than other drivers

· Failure to obey road and traffic conditions

Parental Liability In Crashes Involving Teens In Louisiana And Texas

Parental liability refers to parents’ responsibility for the damage their child causes via negligent, intentional, and criminal acts until the child reaches the age of majority. 

Parents must prevent their minor children from intentionally or negligently harming or injuring others.

This liability varies based on state law and the specific details surrounding the accident. 

There are various legal premises for suing a teen driver’s parents. 

Many American states follow the family car doctrine. Under this theory, the owner of a vehicle is liable for damages or injuries resulting from a car accident, even if some other member of the family (such as a teenage child) is driving the vehicle, regardless of whether or not the owner gave permission.

Both Texas and Louisiana don’t follow the family car doctrine. The two legal theories that Texas and Louisiana Courts use to determine whether parents are financially accountable for their child’s car accident are negligent entrustment and vicarious liability. However, both legal principles can pose challenges to proving.

Vicarious Liability 

Vicarious liability is a legal principle that holds individuals accountable for the actions of others. Parents can be liable if their teen driver causes a car accident while pursuing any family “purpose” or “use.”

For instance, if you send your child out to buy groceries for dinner, they cause an accident. Then, you could be vicariously liable. 

Negligent Entrustment 

Negligent entrustment of a motor vehicle refers to entrusting a motor vehicle to someone reckless, inexperienced, or incompetent to use it safely. 

An individual can be unfit to safely operate a car because of their age or lack of experience, a physical or mental impairment, or a known history of habitual reckless driving.

Louisiana and Texas courts have long recognized the tort of negligent entrustment. 

The act of negligent entrustment makes the motor vehicle’s owner liable for the driver’s acts. 

Negligent entrustment in teen accidents occurs when vehicle owners entrust their vehicles to their unprofessional and incompetent teenagers to drive. 

Parents may be liable for their children’s car wrecks if they know their child is unfit or unable to operate a motor vehicle safely. Examples of negligent entrustment by parents include: 

· Giving their child permission to drive without a license

· Allowing the child to get in the driver’s seat knowing that their child was reckless in the past and 

· Allowing children under the influence of drugs or alcohol to operate a vehicle

Will Insurance Cover Expenses? 

Auto insurance companies fear that inexperienced teen drivers are susceptible to making poor choices while driving and causing accidents.

In most cases, a parent’s car insurance policy covers injuries and other losses from an accident involving their teen driver. If the teen driver features on the policy and there are adequate policy limits, the parent’s insurance company will pay out damages up to those limits. 

Unlike “no-fault” states in which each driver’s insurance covers their injuries regardless of who caused the accident, Texas and Louisiana follow the “fault” rule in which the at-fault driver’s insurance company can be liable for the victim’s damages. 

Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers: Personal Injury Lawyers Maximizing Compensation For Teen Car Accident Victims In Louisiana And Texas

Claiming damages can be overwhelming for car crash victims. An accident involving a teenage driver adds another layer of complexity to the situation.

One way to tackle this situation is by seeking the assistance of an experienced car accident attorney. 

At Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers, our attorneys will help you determine liability, demonstrate damages, and negotiate with the insurance company for a fair settlement. Our office staff tracks down information on the other party’s insurance coverage and builds a solid case for you. 

Personal injury attorney Bart Bernard deeply understands the car accident laws in Louisiana and Texas. 

If you or your loved one has suffered injuries due to the carelessness or negligence of a teen driver anywhere in Texas or Louisiana, you deserve fair and just compensation for the injuries and other damages. 

During an initial free case evaluation, Attorney Bernard can help you evaluate your options to pursue compensation. 

Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers has law offices in Lafayette and Houston. 



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