Parental Liability for Teen Auto Accidents

When a teen causes an auto accident, some states in the US follow the “family car doctrine.” Under this doctrine, a parent’s liability is based on the premise that the parent allowed the child to use the car. Another legal theory is “negligent entrustment,” also making a parent accountable for a teen car accident. Under this theory, liability is based on the fact that the owner of the vehicle allowed the car to be used by an unlicensed, incompetent or reckless driver. To establish a parent’s liability under this legal theory, the following four basic elements must be proven:

  • The parent entrusted the car to the teen for the purpose of driving to college, work or going to social activities.
  • The parent showed negligence in entrusting the vehicle to the teen even though the parent knew or should have known that the teen was a reckless or incompetent driver.
  • The teen driver’s negligence caused the accident.
  • Entrustment of the vehicle to the teen caused the damages incurred as a result of the accident.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident and need an effective and experienced car accident lawyer, Rockland Injury Lawyers can help you. Our car accident lawyers have been handling car accident cases for over 50 years. You can count on us to fight on your behalf to secure the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call 845-709-8005, 800-940-1799 or email us at or

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