Can a caregiver be charged if the disabled person in their care drives and injures or kills someone?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can a caregiver be charged if the disabled person in their care drives and injures or kills someone?

He has had 7 strokes and has poor vision. I’m his primary caregiver along

with his wife. He is not willing to give up his car key and will often just take

the car on a whim when we are showering, sleeping, etc. Should he drive and injure or kill someone can we also be charged as he is obviously not able to make sound decisions?

Asked on October 23, 2018 under Accident Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If he is still considered legally competent (i.e. has not been determined to be legally INcompetent and had a guardian appointed), then no other person would be criminally charged if he kills or injures someone: one adult, regardless of relationship, is not criminally liable for the actions of another legally competent adult unless the first one assisted or facilitated it (i.e. it's one thing if he has his own keys; do NOT lend him your keys, however, since they you are assisting him). If he has been judged to be incompetent and a legal guardian appointed, under certain circumstances, the legal guardian could face charges; he or she could also certainly be sued.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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