Can adult children be held liable for a parent's car crash?

On behalf of Restovich Braun & Associates posted in fatal motor vehicle accidents on Wednesday, May 25, 2016.

As parents age, the adult children normally have to start looking out for their parents. In some cases, this can mean making choices about what the parent is able to do safely. In the case of driving, the suitability of an elderly parent to drive is something that can be called into question by the adult children or by the licensing authority. Since the adult children can often decide that an elderly parent shouldn't drive, the question of who is liable if an accident occurs comes into the picture.

Would I name an adult child of an elderly person in a wrongful death claim?

The ability to consider an adult child as a defendant in the claim depends on several factors. One of the primary factors is who the car that struck your loved one belonged to. If the answer is the elderly driver, there is very little chance that an adult child of that driver would be held liable for the accident that claimed your loved one's life. In some cases, such as when there is a well documented impairment, it imight be possible to include the adult child as a defendant in the claim even if the car belonged to the elderly driver.

What if the car was the adult child's car?

If the car was the adult child's car, it might be possible to name them as a defendant. This is because of the concepts of vicarious liability and negligent entrustment. If you think that the adult child of an elderly driver should be held liable for a fatal accident, make sure that you thoroughly explore the possiblity of naming the adult child as a defendant in the wrongful death case.

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