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Recent Crashes In Bradenton Caused By Boy Who Took His Father’s Car Raises Questions Of Liability For Parents Of Teenage Drivers

Last week in Bradenton Florida a fifteen year old took his father’s vehicle without permission and went on a joy ride that that resulted in no less than 5 crashes and two injuries.

The ride only came to an end when deputies approached the boy after his fourth crash of the day. He fled the scene driving until finally crashing into a power pole and injuring himself. When the dust settles for this incident there likely be will be several accident law suits that also will need to be settled.

A situation like this raises questions for parents who have teenage kids – who will be liable for the damage and injuries caused by your under-aged driver?

The answer is complex and depends on several circumstances including whether or not the minor was included or excluded in the vehicle owner’s policy, whether the minor was at fault in the accident, whether or not the teenage driver of the car in the accident had permission to use the vehicle or if they explicitly did not have permission, and the nature of the damage caused by the accidents.

If the injured parties’ No-Fault insurance limits have been reached, or if the injured party has their vehicle fixed by their own insurance policy, they or their insurance company can file law suits against you personally to recover additional money.

And because the at-fault driver (your teenager excluded from your policy) had no coverage, the financial fallout from this will fall squarely on the parent. So it is not advisable to exclude family drivers from your policy unless they are covered by a separate policy.

The Value Of Hiring An Attorney In Such a Situation Cannot Be Over Stated.

While insurance companies will have their set of rules on liability tied to your policy, an experienced personal injury attorney will fully understand the law and what will be required of the insurance company to pursue such a law suit.

For example in Florida, automobiles are considered a dangerous instrumentality, therefore if the parents knew or should have known that leaving the keys accessible to this teenage child might result in exposing the teenage child or the community to danger, then the parents may be liable.

In other words, it has to be proven by the insurance company that the parents had reason to believe that having the car keys accessible by the teenage child might result in the teenage child taking the car.

During his time as a public attorney for the State of Florida, Bernard Walsh developed a passion for defending the legal rights of Florida's citizens. Having seen many people being taken advantage of after being injured and the financial harm that can cause for families he committed himself fully to helping injured clients get justice, by fighting to make greedy insurance companies pay what they owe.

Recent Crashes In Bradenton Caused By Boy Who Took His Father’s Car Raises Questions Of Liability For Parents Of Teenage Drivers

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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