If a 17 year old was in an auto accident, went to the hospital and signed herself in when she was admitted, is she responsible for the hospital bill?

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If a 17 year old was in an auto accident, went to the hospital and signed herself in when she was admitted, is she responsible for the hospital bill?

Asked on August 30, 2011 Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Either she or her parents will be responsible (though they will have recourse to their insurance, if appropriate). If the 17 year old is emanicipated, then she will be responsible for her own medical costs and bills. If not emancipated--which is probably more likely the case, since a 17 year old must have taken affirmative steps to emancipate herself--then her parents will be responsible, since parents are responsible for the debts, obligations, etc. of their minor children. Of course, whether the parents will then expect the 17 year old to repay them, and how they might enforce it, is another story; but under the law, the parents of an injured (but not emanicipated) minor are responsible for her medical treatment and costs.


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