Motor vehicle accidents that result in injuries often lead to personal injury lawsuits against the driver of one of the vehicles on the theory of negligence. Your Albuquerque car accident lawyer can explain that a negligence action can also be lodged against children, and parents can sometimes be held responsible for the injuries that their children cause.
Lawsuits against Children
Adult drivers are expected to exercise reasonable care when they are behind the wheel. Your Albuquerque car accident lawyer can explain that child drivers are typically held to the same standard of care as adult drivers. Courts have historically held that children who engage in adult activities should be held to the same standard of care as an adult.
An Albuquerque car accident lawyer can explain that a parent, guardian, employer or other responsible parent must sign a minor’s application for a driver’s license or driver’s permit before he or she is able to acquire it. Your Albuquerque car accident attorney can explain that if your minor child acts in a negligent manner or intentional manner that causes another person to sustain damages due to the minor’s actions, liability will be imputed to the parent or other individual who signed the application. Additionally, New Mexico law provides for joint and several liability. This legal concept means that the parent and child can be held responsible individually or collectively. The plaintiff can go after the parent for the full extent of damages. New Mexico law does not cap liability at any particular monetary amount, so parents can be liable for injuries, property damage, pain and suffering and other damages that the minor child causes in the accident. This principal applies whether the accident is a minor one, a drunk driving accident or a serious car accident.
Liability of Motorists to Children
Just as a parent can be held accountable for a child’s actions, a parent can pursue a personal injury claim against a person who injured the child on the child’s behalf. Motor vehicle accidents that result in harm to children often require an increased standard of care. For example, drivers are expected to reduce their speeds in school zones and in other places where it is known that children are present. The duty of care that a reasonably prudent driver is expected to exhibit is based on the foreseeability of an accident and the characteristics of children in the area.
If you are concerned about facing any liability due to the actions of your minor children, you may wish to discuss your case with an Albuquerque car accident attorney. He or she may be able to inform you of any steps that you can take to reduce your liability. You can contact Ryan McKelvey by calling (505) 254-9090.