UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022
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My Dad is 91 years old. Insists upon driving though we know that he has some
dementia issues, and more limited mobility.
I have three brothers and we all recommend that he stop driving.
If he were to get into an accident, according to MS law, would we be considered
liable for damages, etc….if it could be shown that we knew he was a deficient
driver but did not prevent him from driving?
We all live out of state.
Asked on August 30, 2017 under Accident Law, Alaska
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 5 years ago | Contributor
One adult is not liable for the accidents of another, even if he/she has reason to know that the second adult has diminished capacity, and even if there is a family relationship. Having knowledge of a risk posed by another, or being closely related to them, does not by itself impose liability.
You could be liable if:
1) Your father becomes and is declared incompetent, and one of you is appointed his legal guardian (you'd have to agree to become the guardian, by the way; no one can be forced to assume this responsibiltiy). In that case, as legal guardian, you are liable your father's actions the same way a parent or legal guardian of a minor child is responsible for the child's acts.
2) If you let him drive your car (or a car you co-own with him): a vehicle's owner can be held liable for the accidents of those he/she allows to drive his/her vehicles, including the accidents of co-owners.
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 AttorneyPages.com 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.