Are Parents Accountable for Damages When Their Child is the Fault Driver in an Albany Car Accident?

December 4, 2020

New drivers are generally teens with a higher risk of getting involved in a bad car accident due to various reasons, including lack of experience on the streets. In the event of an accident, parents must be aware of the actions that have to be taken and seek professional guidance from a Georgia Automobile Accident Attorney.

There is always the possibility of the other driver initiating a lawsuit against the parents for damages.

How can parents deal with this situation and protect the health and security of their family’s future?

Getting in an accident as a teen is a serious matter that can also affect future insurance rates and remain on the child’s driving record for a long time.

Get Advice from a Georgia Accident Lawyer

Parents are always worried when their child becomes a new driver on the streets. No matter how many precautions they may take, the chances of a young driver to get involved in a serious crash are high. The injuries from a crash accident can have life-long side effects, bringing pain and suffering, as well as economic difficulties not only for the child but also for the family.

It is not always easy to define if the parents bear any responsibility for their child’s actions. Therefore, expert advice from a Georgia car accident lawyer is mandatory to help avoid unnecessary financial burdens, pain, and suffering.

When an accident occurs one of the first things that come to mind is how the future insurance rates will be affected.

Can the driver sue a parent for damages?

What are the repercussions?

The best way to be prepared for the future is to contact a Georgia auto accident attorney that has the know-how and experience in similar cases in your territory to protect you and your child in the best possible way. A lawyer with a history of winning similar cases can also assist you in covering all financial damages resulting from an accident that can include:

  •       Medical bills
  •       Pain and suffering
  •       Rehabilitation costs
  •       Property losses
  •       Loss of wages
  •       Other

When is the Parent Accountable for the Child Involved in an Auto Collision in Georgia?

There is a general responsibility called ‘vicarious liability.’ Vicarious liability is the share of responsibility that burdens the parent for their child’s actions. A parent should know whether their child is able to drive or not and forbid them from driving when the child is not in a position to operate a vehicle. In other words, the parent should know whether their child is competent enough to drive safely.

Based on Georgia’s code, GA Code § 51-2-2, in Georgia, the parent may be held liable for damages up to $10,000 (plus court fees and costs) if their child caused the accident, whether this was a malicious act or not.

If the parent was aware that the child was not in a position to be behind the wheel; however, they allowed them to do so anyway, this can be considered negligence.

The case of Hicks v. Newman set a precedent in Georgia, where parents are held responsible for the children’s car accidents when the automobile involved is designated for family’s purposes. Parents must be in some way owners of the vehicle involved in the crash; otherwise, how can they be responsible when they are not the legal owners of the car.

To clarify further, in order for the parents to be held liable they have to:

  • Be the legal owners of the vehicle involved in the accident
  • Give permission for the use of the vehicle to the family member driving when the accident took place
  • The driver has to belong in the immediate environment of the household

Therefore, when a parent allows a child to drive their car while knowing that the child is not in a position to operate the vehicle, it can be labeled as negligence and parents can be held accountable.

Determining Negligence in Georgia

Negligence is one of the main factors one can use when building a case to claim compensation for injuries. A Georgia accident lawyer can identify the ways to defend yourself and win the case.

In an accident involving a minor who was driving, one must have knowledge of what defines negligence in Georgia’s territory. In cases of injuries or property damages, fault has to be determined prior to the recovering of the damages. When a case reaches the court, the jury will decide a percentage of accountability for each of the negligent parties involved.

Contact Joe Durham Jr. P.C. for a Free Case Review

You must be ready to defend yourself and your family when the other party tries to place blame on you or your child for a crash. Only the experts can ensure that you will get the best possible outcome from these disputes.

If you are a parent of a teen involved in an accident and are seeking a Georgia accident lawyer, contact Joe Durham Jr. P.C. to schedule an appointment for a free consultation to see your options and how you can proceed.