It’s not unusual for parents to let their kids borrow the family car to go to work, school or a friend’s house. However, if your child causes an accident while driving your car in West Virginia, you could be responsible for any damages that a victim incurs.
Did you have reason to believe that your child was an unsafe driver?
You may be responsible for your child’s actions based on a legal theory called negligent entrustment. Negligent entrustment may occur if you let your son or daughter drive your car without supervision despite the fact that he or she only had a permit. This may also occur if you let your child operate your vehicle despite him or her having previously done so while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
You could be liable for the actions of an adult dependent
You are generally responsible for the actions of those who are still under your care regardless of how old they are. This means that an injured victim may name you as a defendant in a personal injury case if your adult son or daughter caused an accident while driving your car.
Did the accident result in financial losses?
It’s important to understand that an accident victim can’t pursue legal action unless he or she experienced a financial loss. Furthermore, under West Virginia law, plaintiffs are not entitled to compensation if they were more than 50% liable for a collision. A personal injury attorney may provide more information about the role that state comparative fault laws may play in a case.
You could be financially liable for your child’s actions while behind the wheel of your vehicle. Therefore, it may be beneficial to hire an attorney to represent your interests throughout the legal process. In some cases, it may be possible to establish that your son or daughter is the one who should receive compensation. An attorney might do this by presenting video, photos or other lines of evidence to show the other driver’s negligence.