If my child was hurt on their friends golfcart on their friends property, should the friends parents take some responibility?

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If my child was hurt on their friends golfcart on their friends property, should the friends parents take some responibility?

The child is 17 years old and was driving a golf cart with multiple passengers. There were also other teens driving near by on ATV’s. The child suffered traumatic injuries -broken pelvis in 4 places, lost multiple teeth, fractured tail bone, torn bladder and a broken ankle. To top it all of, when the first responders arrived, the patient was in a fetal position and the asked her if she could stand up. She said no. So they proceeded to pick her upright by her waste. There has been no contact from the friends patents and this happened weeks ago. The child is in the hospital for 4 more weeks.

Asked on April 18, 2012 under Personal Injury, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If your child was the driver, it may be difficult to hold the friend's parents responsible--the child assumed some risk of injury from driving a golf part. To possibly recover compensation, you'd have to show that someone else was at fault in causing the injury--for example, that there was a dangerous ditch on the property which the cart hit and which caused it to flip; or that one of the ATV drivers hit the cart or your child. If the injury was caused, though, either by your own child's negligence (e.g. bad or careless driving) or by factors beyond anyone's reasonable control (e.g. someone fired a gun at nearby range; the sound so startled your child as to cause him or her to lose control), you are unlikely to be able to hold the friends' parents responsible. As a general matter, there must be fault for liability; someone is not necessarily liable simply because an injury occured involving their vehicle or on their land.

Given the extent of your child's injuries, it would be well worth it for you to meet with a personal injury attorney, to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit. Good luck.


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