Legal Question in Personal Injury in Maryland

If a teenager has an accident driving a car titled in his parents name after he has smoked pot are the parents responsible?

Asked on 8/20/12, 1:18 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Robert Sher Wagshal and Sher

Not unless his parents were previously aware of his propensity to drive in an intoxicated state and did nothing to restrict his use of the vehicle. However, the insurance on the vehicle would probably cover the son, so in most cases the victim would not have to pursue a claim against the parents.

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Answered on 8/20/12, 1:23 pm

Lawrence Holzman Holzman Law Firm, LLC

the legal theory applicable is called "negligent entrustment". That is, are the parents liable b/c they breached a duty of care to the public by permitting their teenager to drive the car\? Since our law allows teens to obtain and hold driver's licences, that means that the parents would need to have some actual knowledge, or it must be unreasonable that they didn't perceive an obvious problem.

Your post doesn't really give facts to answer those questions. Feel free to supplement if you like, and I will respond.

Larry Holzman

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Answered on 8/20/12, 9:18 pm

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