Who is Liable if My Underage Daughter Gets in a Car Wreck if She Drives While With Her Other Parent?

Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

“I have full custody of my fifteen year old daughter. When she is with the other parent, she is allowed to drive their car without insurance. If she is in a wreck who will be liable?”

While the laws related to parental liability vary according to the state, parents are generally liable for damage caused by their minor children. Also, it is illegal to drive without auto insurance in almost every state, so it is important that you speak with your daughter’s other parent about allowing this behavior. If the other parent continues to allow your daughter to drive without insurance, you may want to speak with an attorney about what other steps you can take to prevent this from happening again, which may include limiting visitation rights. You should also contact your auto insurer about adding your daughter to your policy. Often, DMVs will require proof of insurance before issuing a learner’s permit, so she may already be covered under your policy.