What to do if our son’s 8 year old friend drove our go-kart into the neighbor’s entrance gate and caused $2500 in damage?

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What to do if our son’s 8 year old friend drove our go-kart into the neighbor’s entrance gate and caused $2500 in damage?

My wife called the boys father to get his permission prior to operating the go-kart. He gave permission as well as stating he knows how to operate one as he has one at home. Who is responsible for paying for damage?

Asked on October 14, 2013 under Accident Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

As the owners of the go-kart, you and your wife would be liable for the damage to the neighbor's entrance gate.  The go-kart was driven by an eight-year-old with your wife's consent.

Most likely, you and your wife will have to pay the $2500 damage out of pocket unless there is some applicable insurance policy for use of the go-kart.  Even if there is an applicable insurance policy, the insurance company may deny your claim because the go-kart was driven by a child with your wife's consent.  If the case is not settled, you and your wife as the owners of the go-kart, could be sued for negligence by the owner of the damaged entrance gate.  The statements from the kid's father on which your wife relied, are not going to relieve her of liability.


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