Ifmy 12 year old son was at a friend’s house and damaged the friend’s grandfather’s ATV, what am I responsible for?

The accident was filed under the grandfather’s home owners insurance as if he were driving it at the time of the accident, and the insurance paid for the damages. He then asked me to reimburse him a total of half of the repair bill for his troubles of being without the unit for a period of time and transporting it to the shop. How much am I legally responsible for?

Asked on June 28, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Mississippi


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country, your child would be responsible for the damage to the ATV that you have written about if he was negligent in causing the damage.

The only way that you would be responsible for the damages is if you knew that your child had a pre-disposition to cause damage to property or you did not adequately supervise him or her.

From what you have written about, you are not responsible for paying any damages to the grandfather. His loss of use claim lacks merit with respect to the trouble of getting the item repaired since insurance paid for the costs of such.

This grandfather should be ashamed of himself trying to strong arm a child and his parent when his insurance carrier took care of the repairs.

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