Could A Parent Be Held Liable If Their Child Is In An Accident
Drivers are distracted more today, than ever before. Like any activity such as driving, practice helps to improve one’s ability to drive safely. Unfortunately, teenagers are among the riskiest drivers because of a myriad of factors, such as lack of experiences, substance abuse, and recklessness.
The law in Ontario is, that unless the motor vehicle in question was taken by some person without his or her consent, then the owner of the registered vehicle will be held liable for any losses or damages that are sustained due to negligence. The owner must be able to prove that the person was driving without their consent then to escape liability.
It is not uncommon for a personal injury lawyer to run into this type of situation where they need to build a strong case ascertaining that the owner consented, which may be taken up between the various counsel. Some situations are clearer than others, like if the car was reported to the authorities as being stolen.
There are instances which are less obvious. For instance, there could be implied consent if you have provided the adolescent with a key and allow them to drive frequently. In that situation, you may be held liable if an accident occurs.
In determining liability in a case involving a child when a parent is the registered owner, can be a very complicated set of facts. This becomes complicated because much will hinge on whether the vehicle was taken without consent of the parent or whether there was consent to take the vehicle. Because there can be multiple insurance companies in this type of dispute, and because it can affect the outcome of the case, it is critical to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer. If you or a loved one find yourself having been in an accident, and someone else is out fault, please contact our law office for a free consultation.