what can be done if an 8 year old kid falls off a bike and scratch a neighbors vehicle?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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what can be done if an 8 year old kid falls off a bike and scratch a neighbors vehicle?

My son was riding his bike and fell off scratching a neighbors truck. The neighbor came to my house telling my wife about the accident. What are we liable for under Texas law?

Asked on April 21, 2016 under Accident Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You may or may not be liable for the cost to repair, repaint, touch up, etc. the scratch. It depends on whether you and/or your child could be considered to have been negligent, which is *unreasonably* careless. Your or he might be negligent if--
* He was just learning to ride, and you did not have him on training wheels and were not holding onto the bike--that is unreasonably careless, because it creates a higher probabilty of injury or damage to another's property, if you are letting him learn without support on a public street. 
* He was riding in the neighbor's driveway when he wasn't actually visiting someone (e.g. the neighbor's child) there--that is unreasonable, because he shouldn't have been there.
* He was doing some "stunt" like riding without his hands, when he lost control.
On the other hand, if your son is a decent rider and just happened to lose control when he wasn't doing anything dangerous or silly, and he was in some place (e.g. on a public road) it was reasonable for him to be, that would not be negligent, and you should not be liable. 
So you obligation to repay depends on the situation, and whether your son or you were being unreasonably dangerous in some way or not, or he was rising someplace he shouldn't or not.

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.

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