Teen and minor drivers can be particularly susceptible to distractions while on Indiana’s roadways, which can significantly increase the risk of accidents. Smartphone use, other young passengers, and daydreaming while driving are just some of the perils that these drivers face. If your minor child has been involved in an accident, you may be wondering what type of liability you could face as a parent, especially if they were at fault for the collision.

As with nearly every other state in the country, Indiana has parental responsibility laws in place that safeguard residents and other drivers from illegal or negligent actions caused by minors. These include, but are not limited to: criminal activity, gang involvement, and at fault driving incidents.

According to Indiana Code § 9-24-9-4, a parent who signs an application for a permit or driver’s license agrees to be jointly responsible with the minor applicant for any injuries or damages that the minor applicant may cause.

However, as with most instances pertaining to legal matters, there are exceptions. A teen driver not living with their parents or someone being over the age of 18 are some examples that would exempt parents from liability.

It should be noted that there are limits to how much a parent would be responsible for. Indiana Code § 34-31-4-1 states that a parent is only liable for up to $5,000 “in actual damages arising from harm to a person or damage to property knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly caused by the parent’s child.”

Irrespective of a parent’s liability, there will most likely be an impact on an insurance policy if a teen is found to be partially or fully at fault for an accident. Depending on the insurance company, the specific policy, and the circumstances of the accident, insurance rates will most likely increase — sometimes sharply. Therefore, it’s critical for parents to communicate with their insurance provider to understand how an accident involving a teen driver may affect their rates.

If your teen has been been involved in an accident or if you were hit by an underage driver and sustained injuries, contact Hurst Limontes to discuss your legal options. We have over a century of combined experience fighting for our clients in any number of personal injury claims. We work on a contingency basis, meaning there is no cost to you unless we reach a settlement or jury verdict award on your behalf.

Call 317-636-0808 or complete the form below for a FREE and confidential consultation.