Parental liability is a legal principle that holds parents responsible for the negligent actions of their kids when the kids cause an accident. For parental liability to apply, you must prove that the parents knew or should have known that their child could cause such an accident. Here are some ways you can use to prove this:
The Child Has a Substance Abuse Problem
Intoxication, whether from alcohol or other drugs, increases the risk of causing a car accident. This is a fact both for teenagers and for adults. However, it's even worse for teenagers because they are inexperienced drivers; combining their inexperience and intoxication is catastrophic. Therefore, a parent who knows that their child drinks alcohol or has a drug abuse problem should know that their child can easily cause a car accident. This is true even for a teenager who is usually a good driver.
The Child Is Known For Reckless Driving
Reckless driving is driving in a manner that suggests you don't care about the consequences of your driving. Examples of reckless driving include overtaking in reduced visibility, driving way beyond the speed limit, and racing other drivers, among other signs. All these are things that clearly increase the risk of an accident. Therefore, if a parent knows that their child is a reckless driver (perhaps they have witnessed it as passengers in the child's car), then they should know that their child can cause an accident.
The Child Is Known For Distracted Driving
In addition to intoxication, distraction is another common cause of car accidents. Getting distracted reduces your concentration on the road, which means you may not be aware of road dangers in time. Drivers can be distracted in different ways and by different things. For example, people get distracted when they use their phones while driving, eat while driving, apply makeup while driving or engage in horseplay while driving. A parent who knows that their child easily gets distracted while driving should know that the child can cause a car accident.
The Child Is Known For Routinely Ignoring Traffic Rules
Traffic rules are meant to keep people safe on the road so anyone who routinely ignoring traffic rules has an accident waiting to happen. Therefore, if a child sometimes drives on the wrong lane (even if there is no traffic), runs the red lights, and ignores "No Entry" signs, then they are a high accident risk and their parents should know that.
Parental liability isn't a given every time a child causes a car accident. Consult a car accident firm, like Richard Glazer Law Office, to help you with the case if you have such a claim.