Can Parents Be Held Liable When Their Teenage Child Causes A Motorcycle Accident?

December 27, 2018
On behalf of The Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg Posted in Motorcycle Accident

Teenagers love motorcycles, but it seems that only a small percentage of them know how to ride a bike safely. Due to their very young age and obsession with danger and thrill, many teenagers are incapable of following traffic rules. “Traffic laws are boring!” many teenagers think.

And this is evident from the number of motorcycle accidents caused by teenagers between the ages of 16 and 20. Our motorcycle accident lawyer Los Angeles from the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg explains that parents can be liable when their teenage children cause a motorcycle crash in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California.

Statistics of car accidents and motorcycle crashes in California show that teenagers between the ages of 16 and 20 are three times more likely to cause a fatal motor vehicle accident. Besides, teenagers are involved in the highest percentage of crashes overall.

Can parents be held responsible for the negligence of their teenage child?

But are parents always responsible for the mistakes of their teenage children? Our Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney explains that although it depends on the circumstances of each particular case, typically, parents can be held liable for motorcycle accidents caused by their children.

For example, a few weeks back, we helped one of our clients file a personal injury lawsuit against a teenage motorcyclist and one of his parents who was registered as the owner of the motorcycle involved in the crash. Our experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Los Angeles filed a lawsuit against the parents of the teenage motorcycle rider on the basis of the legal theory of negligent entrustment.

What is negligent entrustment?

A person can be held liable under the legal theory of negligent entrustment when he or she allows another individual to use a dangerous thing owned by the former, and the latter causes injury to a third party as a result of the improper or negligent use of that dangerous thing.

An investigation by our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys showed that prior to the most recent motorcycle crash, the teenager had caused several other accidents. In one of those crashes, the prosecutor even filed criminal charges against the teenage child for distracted driving.

Parents’ liability can increase the value of your case

It was clear that the teenager had a problem with staying focused on the road, and yet his parents allowed him to take the motorcycle for a ride again, and it resulted in bodily injury to another individual. In fact, when testifying in court, the parent who owned the motorcycle admitted to knowing about the prior motorcycle crashes involving his child and admitted that the child had a problem with distracted driving.

In fact, the other parent (who did not own the motorcycle) even admitted to never punishing their teenage child for the prior accidents and never even restricted his privileges when it comes to riding a bike. Despite having this knowledge, the parents continued to allow their teenage child to operate the motorcycle and did nothing to punish him for his prior incidents.

As a result, our Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney helped the injured victim hold both the teenage motorcyclist and his parents liable for the crash, thus significantly increasing the value of his personal injury settlement against the negligent parties.

Are parents always liable for motorcycle accidents caused by their children?

In case you are wondering, the only way parents can escape liability for car accidents caused by their children is to act reasonably, and, if they have the knowledge or a reason to believe that their teenage child acted negligently or engaged in unsafe driving in the past, not allow their child ride a motorcycle.

If a teenager causes a motorcycle crash that could not be reasonably foreseen by a reasonable parent, the parents may be able to avoid responsibility for the crash. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident caused by a negligent teenager, do not hesitate to consult with our lawyers at the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg. Call our offices at 310-997-0904 for a free case evaluation.


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