Do You Have a New Driver?
Here’s what you need to know about your liability when your kids start driving. I’m Dave Dismuke. Florida Bar, board-certified civil trial lawyer and founder of Dismuke Law, 1800.ASK.DAVE.
I have teenagers. If you have teenagers, you’re just like me. You worry about your kids non-stop. But you also need to worry about your liability if your kid gets in an accident. Look, I’m a personal injury lawyer. I sue people who cause accidents. When I get a case, the first thing I look for is who to sue. The at-fault driver is the obvious one. Everyone knows that. What people don’t know is the owner of the vehicle that caused the accident is also liable. So we personal injury lawyers always sue the owner of the at-fault vehicle. Since kids under 18 can’t own a car, it’s usually mom or dad who own the vehicle, or worse, both mom and dad. One simple way to limit liability is to make sure the car your kid is driving is owned by only one of the parents. But what a lot of people don’t know is when your teen gets a driver’s license and they are under the age of 18, they are required to have a mother, father, or guardian sign for the driver’s license. Under Florida Statutes, the act of signing for the driver’s license puts that person on the hook for any negligence or willful misconduct of the minor under the age of 18 when driving a motoer vehicle upon the public roads. So let me break this down for you. The best way to limit liability for your teenage driver is to have the same parent own the car and sign for the driver’s license.
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Now I want to turn it over to you. If you have questions about the strategies, post a comment below.