ARE PARENTS LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ACTIONS OF THEIR CHILDREN?
The short answer to the question “Are parents legally responsible for the actions of their children?” is “Potentially, yes.” You may be asking this question because a minor was the negligent party in an accident that injured you or killed your loved one. Or you may be asking this question because your underage son or daughter was involved in an accident, and you want to know how to minimize your exposure to responsibility for damages to be paid to an injured party.
In either case, a wise first step is to consult with a knowledgeable civil litigation attorney as soon as possible. At the Columbia & Greenville offices of Ryan Montgomery, Attorney at Law, LLC, we urge you to resist the temptation to discuss an accident in detail with friends, relatives, neighbors, the other party in an accident, investigators, insurance claims adjusters or anyone else before getting legal counsel.
When might a parent be held responsible for actions of children? This may be the case if:
A child’s actions resulted in losses to others.
The child had a pattern of similar troublesome actions harming others.
The theme of this Web page focuses on minor children living with parents. However, liability may extend to parents when adult children live with them, as well. Even if a son or daughter person is over age 18, but lives at home, the parents may be responsible for accidents caused by their offspring. Their homeowners insurance or auto insurance may have to pay damages to someone else injured by that son or daughter. The son or daughter in question may be of any age if he or she shares a home with insured parents.