If a16 year old hit my car and a fellow employee’s car who is responsible, the boy or his mother?

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If a16 year old hit my car and a fellow employee’s car who is responsible, the boy or his mother?

The young man hit my car and a fellow employee’s car while they were parked. The young man was sited by local police for failure to obey a traffic control device and failure to provide proof of insurance. He lives at home with his mother, however the car is registered in his name. Who is responsible to pay the damages the mother or the son? What does the law say?

Asked on March 5, 2012 under Accident Law, Oregon

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If it turns out that the kid had insurance, file your property damage claim against the kid's insurance company since he is the registered owner of the vehicle.  Property damage claims are usually settled with the insurance company.  If the case is settled, NO lawsuit is filed. 

If it turns out the kid did not have insurance, but if you had uninsured motorist coverage, you could file an uninsured motorist claim with your insurance company and have your car repaired.  Your insurance company will then sue the kid and the parent to recover what the insurance company paid in  your uninsured motorist claim.

If you don't have uninsured motorist coverage and the kid didn't have insurance, file a lawsuit for negligence naming the kid and his parents as defendants.  The parents are liable for negligence for letting the kid drive without insurance.  Also, the kid doesn't have any money and that is why you want to name the parents as defendants in the lawsuit.  If you get a judgment against the defendants in your lawsuit, you could enforce the judgment with a wage garnishment or a lien on the property owned by the parents.


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