General Question

slick44's avatar

If a minor is riding in a car without a seatbelt, and the driver is a minor and gets in an accident. Can the parents of the passenger sue the driver?

Asked by slick44 (3808points) February 3rd, 2010

minor drivers

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20 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

usually the parents of the driver get sued, rightfully.

JLeslie's avatar

Why is your child being driven by a minor? Maybe that was a bad decision? Unless the parent of the minor was responsible for your child and allowed their minor child to drive?

I don’t know the legality of it all, but I think pause for a moment and think, what if the minor was my child?

TheJoker's avatar

It depends on who’s fault the accident is deemed to be. The ‘at fault’ party will be the person who can be claimed from. However the Police may want to prosecute the driver for not ensuring the passenger was wearing a seat belt.

wilma's avatar

A minor with a drivers license is driving? and a minor is the passenger.
I think the driver is responsible for his passengers conduct, so he might get a ticket, but I’m not sure about being sued. I think it would depend on the passengers age, and or if the driver was “at fault” for the accident.

MissAusten's avatar

In your state, are minors allowed to drive without a licensed adult in the car? If not, then you may have grounds to sue. Or, if the driver was under the influence or driving recklessly, didn’t have a license, or for some other reason was not following the “rules.” Even if the driver was behaving responsibly, you might legally be able to sue. Whether or not you should sue is a moral issue and I think @JLeslie has a good idea. What if the driver had been your child? There really aren’t enough details in the question to know if legal action is required.

I don’t know if I’d try to punish the driver for the passenger not wearing a seat belt. Legally the driver may be responsible for passengers, and I’d leave it up to the police to determine who to ticket and who is at fault. We’re so “sue happy” in this country. I’d be mad at my own kid for not wearing a seat belt.

JLeslie's avatar

I meant to ask, was the young child without the seatbelt hurt badly? If so I am very sorry, and I can understand why you might be very upset and want to find someone culpable.

Just to follow up on my answer, I remember my young neice used to constantly take off her seatbelt, even though her mother required it be on. She did this while her mother was driving, she tried to get away with it with me, it was all of the time. The driver might have belted the minor if she is very little. If the unbelted minor is a teen (are they both 16 years old?), then shame on him/her for not wearing her belt. We don’t really have enough info about what actually happened.

slick44's avatar

The driver is 16, and has a license. Im just wondering if since it is his car and he was driving, isnt he responsible for his passengers?

slick44's avatar

P.s im not sueing anyone and im not placing blame. teenagers make mistakes. and my son is old enough to no right from wrong. I was just curious about my ques. Oh and it was just a ques. no accident. i just worry. Im sure you can all understand that.

Your_Majesty's avatar

Only if you can prove it. That is the main factor of whether or not you could sue him.

belakyre's avatar

I think that suing won’t do as much good as sitting the driver down and talking to him about it.

JLeslie's avatar

@slick44 Sure, I understand. I’m glad no one has been hurt. I think a driver is responsible for their passengers, I do make all of my passengers wear seatbelts when I am driving. I don’t know if they are legally responsible? Like if it were two adults, and there was a crash and the passenger wasn’t belted, is it the drivers fault? Or, since the passenger is an adult is it their own problem?

slick44's avatar

ya right, i think if there are two adults it is the responsibility of each of them for theirselves.

JLeslie's avatar

@slick44 So, do you think it wrong for an adult driver to insist an adult passenger wear a seatbelt?

CyanoticWasp's avatar

First of all, what are the damages? Did the accident cause the death of or severe injury to the minor? If there was no harm, then there was “no foul”, and no reason to sue. A lawyer who brings suit with no better grounds than “there could have been a problem and we need to send a message to the driver and his parents” should be shot on sight as “vermin”.

john65pennington's avatar

A couple of questions: 1. did the minor driving have a drivers license? 2. did the driver have permission to drive the automobile? 3. were there any injuries?

These are questions that law enforcement will ask. these are questions that attorneys will also ask.

casheroo's avatar

It matters on if the car is the minors or not. Even now, the car I drive is in my parents name..so I won’t be sued, they would.

john65pennington's avatar

A minor cannot be sued, so the parents would be responsible and liable for their childs actions. but, the parents weren’t driving, soooooooo, the minor driver would be taken to juvenile court for driving without a license. why would the parents of the minor riding in the vehicle, want to sue? sue for what?

slick44's avatar

@jleslie I think that an adult driver, should insist on everyone that rides in their car wear a seatbelt.

ragingloli's avatar

@john65pennington
Money. Lots of money. Especially in the US.

kheredia's avatar

If there were no major damages you’re not going to get anything out of it.. plus, because the driver was a minor as well I highly doubt a judge would make him responsible over the other minor. I really don’t think you have anything to work with here. If anything you should just talk to your child and the parents of the other child to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

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