Under Massachusetts law, parents maintain the legal duty to ensure their child’s safety and well being. Inherent in this duty is parental responsibility for their child’s negligent conduct. Massachusetts parental liability laws provide that a parent may be held financially responsible for injuries and property damage that their child causes. In some cases, parental liability may extend to certain criminal acts their child engages in as well, such as vandalism. However, the most common situation where a parent may be held responsible is motor vehicle accidents.
These cases often fall under one of two main legal theories, vicarious liability or direct liability. Under vicarious liability, a parent may be responsible for injuries and property damage even though they did not have direct involvement in the situation. This typically applies in situations where a parent is the owner of the vehicle involved in the accident. In these situations, the parent would be liable for their teenager’s acts while they were driving the parent’s vehicle. Whereas, under direct liability, a parent may be responsible if they failed to control their child when they knew that their child would engage in negligent or reckless conduct.
For example, recently, a Massachusetts news report described an accident involving five teenagers. According to state law enforcement officials, the single-vehicle accident occurred shortly after midnight. The police department stated that the collision involved five individuals who ranged from 13 and 15 years old. Three of the juveniles were ejected from the vehicle and were transported to a local hospital. The other two occupants exited the car after the accident and did not require immediate medical attention. Video footage shows that the white jeep rolled over, and the roof was completely crushed.
In cases like this, the vehicle’s occupants may hold the driver, the vehicle’s owner, or the driver’s parents responsible for their injuries. In most Massachusetts car accidents, car insurance does not adequately cover the full extent of an injury victim’s damages. In these cases, victims may consider filing a personal injury lawsuit against the driver, their parents, or the car owner. However, these cases are rarely straightforward, and victims may face challenges collecting on these judgments. An experienced Massachusetts personal injury attorney can assist victims throughout all stages of a personal injury claim.
Have You Suffered Injuries in a Massachusetts Car Accident?
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a Massachusetts car accident, contact the Law Offices of Barry Feinstein and Affiliates P.C. The attorneys at our office represent injury victims in their claims arising out all types of traffic accidents. The attorneys at our law firm have over 25 years of experience advocating on behalf of Massachusetts injury victims against big insurance companies, negligent government entities, and at-fault motorists. We understand the challenges that many victims face while dealing with insurance companies and at-fault drivers. Through our skill, training, and resources, we have successfully resolved countless cases, collecting significant compensation on behalf of our clients. Compensation in these cases typically includes payments for medical expenses, ongoing treatment costs, lost wages and benefits, property damage, loss of companionship expenses, and pain and suffering. Contact our office at 800-262-9200, to schedule a free initial consultation with a Massachusetts injury attorney at our law firm.