Quite often, this law firm receives questions concerning a Fort Lauderdale, Florida parent’s responsibilities for their minor’s vehicular accidents. The question can arise regarding car, minivan, truck or motorcycle, accidents. Generally, a parent’s concern is twofold; whether they will be financially responsible if their minor child causes a vehicular accident and secondly, whether they need to should or shouldn’t list their child on either the title to their vehicle, or whether to specifically list their child on their insurance policy or not.
The first issue addresses a more general concept of how can an owner of a vehicle be responsible if an accident is caused by any consented-to operator of their vehicle. That answer is in the affirmative. Any time someone causes an accident in a vehicle that they were operating with your consent, whether it was actual or implied, and you are the owner of that vehicle, you are 100% responsible for all of the damages and injuries that were caused by your consented to driver; whether or not that driver was your minor child or not. If you complied with Florida’s financial responsibility laws you would have had a liability insurance policy in place covering this event and whether the driver had their own individual insurance policy your policy would cover your financial liability up to the limits of the liability insurance coverage you selected.
What is a little known fact in Fort Lauderdale, Florida is that a parent is 100% responsible for their minor child’s liability in causing an accident, regardless of whether you own the vehicle she or he was operating if you signed for your minor child’s learner’s permit application so that your child could drive by the age of 16. This additional responsibility remains until your minor child obtains the age of 19.