Who Is Liable When Teen Drivers Cause an Accident?

Drivers 16 to 19 are the highest risk for being involved in an accident compared to all other ages according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Parents are constantly worrying about safety concerns when their teenagers begin to drive but that is not all they are concerned with. If their teenager causes a car accident the parent could potentially be held liable for the injuries, vehicle damages, and other losses resulting from the car accident.

Parental Liability in Kentucky

In Kentucky, a parent or the guardian of the teen driver will be held jointly liable with the minor for any damages caused by the minor while driving negligently. The parent or guardian that will be held jointly liable will be the one who signed the application for the minor to get their driver's license. This can be found under the Kentucky Rev. Stat. Section 186,590 .

Car Accidents Caused by Negligence

The concept of negligence is when a driver is not driving in a reasonably safe way and someone gets injured because of this. The negligent driver is liable for the damages done including medical bills, lost wages, damages done to the vehicle, and other losses. Nolo.com explains that negligence applies to teen drivers just as much even if they are not as experienced. They are still legally obligated to drive safely. Although in Kentucky the liability will be split between the parents/guardian and driver.

What Is Joint Liability?

You may be asking yourself, what does joint liability mean? According to Lawyers.com it is a legal concept known as “vicarious liability.” It is when the parents or guardian of a driver holds responsibility for the minor driving. They are to be held responsible for financial damages if their teen driver causes an accident. However, if a parent or guardian is not in contact with the driver or does not have custody of them, they are in no position to oversee the drivers driving. Therefore the “parental responsibilities” mentioned above cannot be used to hold the parent of guardian liable for any accidents caused by the teenager.

An example of vicarious liability is when a parent or guardian allows their teenager to start driving knowing that they do not have a lot of experience and has got into accidents before then they get into another accident. The parents are held partially liable for the damages because they were aware of the little experience the teen had driving.

Contact a Kentucky Car Accident Lawyer

If you are the parent of a teen driver who has gotten into an accident and would like your case reviewed call The Dixie Law Group at 502-290-2397 and we will have one of our experienced attorneys review your case. All consultations are 100% free.

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