Typically, when you are involved in a car crash with another motorist who was driving under the influence, the motorist will be considered clearly at fault and you'll be able to seek compensation from the other motorist's insurance provider. Insurance companies often have a limit on how much they will pay out and you may need to seek a settlement from the driver. However, the situation can be complicated when the driver is a minor.
A strong parent relationship can reduce the risk that a teenager will drive recklessly and get into an accident. Parents who prevent their teens from binge drinking will also often be able to prevent them from drinking and driving.
Parents are responsible for the actions taken by their children up to the age of majority. The age of majority can vary from stat- to-state but is usually 18. Parents are responsible for the medical bills of those who are injured by the teen if the courts determine that the teen is responsible for the accident.
In some states, a teen might need a "sponsor" to obtain a driver's license. The sponsor is usually a parent. Then, the sponsor would be responsible for damages caused by the teenager.
When seeking compensation for your injuries, holding parents liable for your injuries makes sense because teens often do not have the assets necessary to pay for damages. The legal guardian is expected to supervise the teen. You should not be forced to bear the responsibility of the teenager's wrongdoing.
Parental liability varies from state-to-state. In some states, the action taken must be deliberate or the teen must have established a pattern of negligent behavior. However, if the accident is the result of a DUI, the courts are much more likely to find the parents liable for damages.
There is a limit to how much compensation you may receive from a parent based on the state in which the accident occurs. However, in most states, the limit is so high that you will likely receive full compensation for damages as long as the parent has assets that can be liquidated.
If you are seeking compensation, make sure to speak with a personal injury attorney. Otherwise, you may receive a settlement that is much lower than what you deserve and accept it. Regardless of who pays for the damages, you have the right to seek compensation.
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