Liability For Your Child’s Car Accidents

Most parents accompany their children to get the child’s first drivers license at age 16. Did you know that this trip to the licensing agency with your minor child could expose you to serious liability. Under Florida Statute 322.09 the application of a child for a driver’s license must be signed and verified by a parent or any other adult who is willing to assume obligations imposed by Statute 322.09 (2). The reference subsection (2) states that any negligence or willful misconduct of a minor under the age of 18 when driving shall be imputed “to the person who has signed the application of such minor for a permit or license, which person shall be jointly and severally liable with such minor for any damages caused by such negligence or misconduct.

Therefore, by signing the driver’s permit application of your child you are assuming legal responsibility for the child’s accidents and reckless driving.

What’s the solution. If possible, convince someone else to drive your child down to the license office to get his first license. If you have someone on your payroll- an employee or housekeeper- give them the job; let them witness your child’s first “solo drive” They probably have less to lose than you do.

Better yet, get good car insurance.