Legal Question in Personal Injury in California

My daughter is 17 and is getting her driver's license asap. I live in Orange County, Calif. and am concerned if she gets into an accident or anything like that, if I can be held responsible for the financial damage because she is 17. I am NOT adding her to my insurance or her car will all be in her name. I have worked hard to rebuild my financial life since the divorce from her mom( ihave custody of her) and don't want to lose everything I have finally built back up if someone sues me for what SHE does in her car. Any legal advice on how to protect myself?? thankyou

Asked on 5/14/10, 10:14 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Maria Kao Feldsott & Lee

Parents are responsible if the parent has knowledge of the child's potential for misconduct and fails to take reasonable steps to prevent such misconduct. A parent might also be responsible where the parent has signed the child's driver's license application or the child drives the parent's car with the parent's knowledge and permission. Additionally, the parent is responsible for a child's willful misconduct.

It is a fuzzy line, and I hate to say it but it really does just depend on the circumstances.

Something like a car accident where your daughter is running an errand for you might make you liable. But, even something like driving your car might incur liability for you.

Maybe you should consider having her wait until she is 18 just to be safe.

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Answered on 5/19/10, 10:29 am

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