Parents Are Liable In Car Accidents
Are Parents Liable If A Car Accident Is Caused By A Teen Driver?
Parents are nervous enough once their teenagers start driving, when a car accident is caused by a teen driver, their anxiety can be compounded by worries about injuries and accident liability. They have good reason to worry since it is possible for parents to be liable for the accident in Wisconsin.
4 Things to Know About Teen Driver Laws in Wisconsin and Parent Liability
- Teens must be sponsored. The State of Wisconsin requires parents to sponsor their teen driver through a learner’s permit. By becoming a sponsor, you automatically agree to accept “joint and several” liability for the teen’s actions. If a car accident is caused by the teen driver, parents are liable.
- Sponsors must carry auto insurance. Sponsors are required to maintain the state’s minimum amount of auto insurance coverage; most decide to add their teenager drivers to their existing insurance policy until the teen turns 18 and is eligible for his/her own policy.
- Liability coverage follows the driver, not the car. If your teen is responsible for the accident, insurance will provide liability protection.
- Parental assets may be at risk. In some cases, a car accident caused by a teen driver can put the parent’s personal assets at risk. Anyone who is injured in the accident could file a personal injury lawsuit to attempt to recover compensation for their injuries. They are allowed to claim losses up to $300,000 or the limits of your liability insurance coverage, whichever is greater.
Parents Can Support Safe Driving
Teens are inexperienced drivers, and inexperienced drivers often get into accidents. Parents can help minimize risk by ensuring their young drivers get as much time behind the wheel while under parental supervision as possible. The more practice they have under the watchful eyes of a parent, the better. Parents should model responsible driving themselves and also:
- discuss safe and unsafe driving habits with their teens
- set limits on the use of cellphones or other driving distractions
- limit the number of passengers allowed in the vehicle while the teen is driving
- allow the teen to practice driving in all types of weather conditions
Speak With A Car Accident Attorney If A Car Accident Is Caused By A Teen Driver
Help is available to families involved in a teenage driving accident. Contact a car accident attorney at Eisenberg Law Offices to determine if the parents are liable for the accident and to ensure the teen is fairly represented in a liability claim. Wisconsin operates under a shared fault law, which means both parties involved in the accident may share responsibility.
Contact us for help navigating the insurance claims process, filing a personal injury claim, and determine whether there is parental liability for a car crash. Please take advantage of our free consultations to discuss your case with an experienced lawyer.