Parent faces liability for an automobile accident involving a child – Litigation, mediation and arbitration


United States: Parent faces liability for automobile accident involving child

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A Superior Court judge has ruled that an individual injured in an automobile accident can sue a mother whose disabled adult son allegedly caused the accident for negligent liability. The mother and son, who suffered from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) for which he was taking medication, were registered co-owners of the vehicle involved in the accident . The mother, who primarily lived in California at the time of the crash but was helping her son with living expenses and helping pay for the car involved, argued she could not be held liable for a negligent mandate because she did not control the vehicle, was not aware of her son’s alleged unfitness to drive it and that this unfitness did not cause the accident.

To establish a claim for automobile negligence, the injured party must show that an individual owned or controlled the motor vehicle in question, and that the individual gave the driver permission to operate the vehicle. In addition, the injured person must establish that the driver was an incompetent or unfit person whose incompetence or unfitness was the cause of his injuries and that he had actual knowledge of the driver’s incompetence or unfitness. to drive the vehicle. In this case, the mother knew that her son had already been involved in car accidents. His son also admitted to police that on the day of the accident he had not taken his medication, which usually helps him perceive depth, spacing and distance.

On a motion for summary judgment, the Court determined that there were genuine questions of fact about the elements of the mother’s control over her son’s use of the vehicle, whether her son was unfit to drive because he was not taking his medication and whether the mother had actual knowledge of this unfitness due to her involvement with her son’s doctor, as it specifically related to her refill requests for her son’s medication . As such, the case will now proceed to a jury trial.

The decision in this case, which allows the negligence trust claim to proceed to trial, opens the door to potential lawsuits where a vehicle owner could be held liable if the operator of his vehicle has Owner’s known accident history.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

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