What is my liability if my 11 year old daughter injured someone in my other daughter’s vehicle and I was not there at the time?

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What is my liability if my 11 year old daughter injured someone in my other daughter’s vehicle and I was not there at the time?

My 11 year old daughter went out to warm up her sister’s car at church but the emergency brake didn’t work. The car was in gear and started moving forward. She did not know how to stop the car and it hit a boy who was in the parking lot. I was called to the church from work and a report was filed. The father of the boy has filed suit against the church and the insurance investigator is now asking if I own my home. My insurance company has denied the claim for my daughter because it was not my vehicle she was in and as far as I know they are asking for a substantial amount from the church insurance.

Asked on January 23, 2012 under Personal Injury, Nevada

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A parent can be held liable for injuries his or her child causes either intentionally or due to negligence--and what your daughter did was negligent, or unreasonably careless. You can potentially be sued for the boy's medical costs (to date and projected future) and pain and suffering; given his age, lost wages would not seem to be an issue. The amount of pain and suffering is related to the extent of injuries, and bears a relationship to the medical costs; if the boy was not badly injured, he is not entitled to all that much money.


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