Rear ended by unlicensed minor driving mom’s insured vehicle

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Rear ended by unlicensed minor driving mom’s insured vehicle

I was rear ended by a 17 year old who did not have a license, his vehicle pushed
me into a vehicle in front of me and I ended up hitting it. I went to the ER for
whiplash and got a fractured spine. Is his mom liable since he was unlicensed, and
does it matter if she was aware or not of him driving her car?

Asked on March 20, 2017 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Assuming that he was not emancipated (legally no longer under this parent's control) at the time, which is highly likely--very few minors are emancipated at that age--then she is liable for his actions as the parent/legal guardian of a minor. Whether or not she knew that he was driving then is irrelevant; a parent/legal guardian is legally responsible for his/her minor's wrongful acts regardless of knowledge. You could sue her for your injuries, costs, etc.; of course, if she does not have much in the way of property or money, even if you sue her and win, you may not be paid--a successful lawsuit does not money appear where there is none.


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