Even the most well-behaved children can act impulsively, or fail to anticipate the consequences of their actions. Unfortunately, they’re still capable of causing serious harm. Can a child be held liable for causing injury to someone else?
Age is an important factor
Generally, a child’s liability depends on their age. Many courts hold that children are not liable for accidental injuries up to a certain age. This can be treated as a rebuttable presumption—that is, the court presumes a child under the age threshold did not understand the consequences of their actions, but are willing to consider evidence to the contrary.
Parental responsibility laws
In Florida, parents may be held responsible for injuries caused by their child driving or intentionally committing vandalism. Vandalism damages are limited to actual damages: the monetary value of what was damaged or stolen.
Driving accidents do not need to be intentional. Parents may be held responsible for their child’s negligence. Filing a claim against a minor’s parents may enable you to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages while recovering and more.
Parents are no longer responsible for their children after they reach the age of majority (18). People over 18 can be sued directly.
When considering whether to file a claim against a child, seek an attorney’s advice. Depending on the circumstances of the accident and other factors, it could be difficult to recover compensation. An experienced personal injury lawyer can review your claim and explain your legal options, as well as what kind of damages you can expect to receive.
If you’ve been injured by a child, the trusted Manatee County, FL personal injury lawyers at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh can help. Call today for a consultation.