Obtaining a driver’s license is a monumental and much anticipated moment in a teenagers life. Unfortunately, parents sometimes overlook the potential liability issues involved in allowing their children to drive any motorized vehicle. Any licensed driver who gets behind the wheel owes a “duty of care” to all other drivers, passengers, bicyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians. If any driver fails to comply with this duty through negligent or reckless driving and someone is injured as a result, the driver will be liable for medical bills, lost income and other losses stemming from the crash. In California, if the driver is a minor (under the age of 18), the parents/guardians or whoever signed the driver’s license application for the minor is liable until they turn 18.
The California DMV states that a minor’s application for a driver’s license must have the signatures of:
If the parents are not residents of California, they cannot sign the application form and therefore cannot accept liability for a minor. Nonresident military parents stationed and living in California can sign the application. If the parent or guardian does not have contact with or custody of the teen driver at the time of the accident, parental responsibility is usually dismissed and the parents or guardian cannot be held liable. In any case, it’s best to contact an experienced attorney who can assist with your specific case.
Teenage drivers are in a special risk category when it comes to driving. It’s an exhilarating feeling to be out on the open road, but teenagers are more likely to get in an automobile accident than more experienced and older drivers. Some startling facts prove this:
The statistics speak volume to the dangerous effects of negligent teenage driving. If you’ve been involved in an accident with a teen driver, contact an experienced Fairfield CA injury lawyer immediately.
Anyone who causes an accident due to negligence is liable for themselves. Vicarious liability is a legal doctrine in California that creates liability for a person who did not actually cause the injury but who has a special relationship with the one who did. When parents sign their child’s driver’s license form, they are accepting financial responsibility for that minor. California requires that drivers and vehicle owners carry the following minimum monetary limits:
If you’ve been injured due to a teenage driver’s negligent behavior on the road, contact a Fairfield CA injury lawyer and get legal representation immediately so you can get the compensation you deserve.