Who is Liable if your Child is Injured?


Many parents are not aware of who is liable for acts of their minor children. In most states the concept of parental responsibility applies to criminal and civil acts of the child.  State legislatures have confirmed that an innocent victim should not have the financial burden of property damage or medical expenses that results from another person’s wrongdoing.  Parents have a legal duty to supervise their minor children and the reasoning behind this law is that if they fail to fulfill that duty and the child causes harm, then they are legally responsible.  In Oregon a minor is anyone under the age of 18.

When a minor is driving a car involved in an accident, the parent may also be liable.  Even if the adult was not present in the vehicle when the accident occurred or they do not own the vehicle, they can still be help liable.

In the Family Purpose Doctrine, the owner of a vehicle is financially responsible for the careless operation of the vehicle when it is driven by all family members.  Parents should make sure their children understand their actions while driving not only affect them but also the rest of their family.