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Recent Arizona Ruling: Parents Responsible for Kids’ Wrecks

We can all agree that raising children is no simple task. It can be even more of a struggle to deal with disobedient children. The problem is exacerbated when disobedience puts parents in a financially liable spot.

Such is the case with a recent Arizona Court of Appeals ruling that placed responsibility on parents even when their teen child acts against their wishes.

Recently, the Court of Appeals ruled in a case that the consequences of a 17-year-old’s accident (one that caused serious injuries to another driver) are the responsibility of the parents.

The accident occurred after the 17-year-old boy drove friends around although his parents had told him after a previous accident that he could only drive to school, church or work.

Even though the child clearly acted against his parent’s commands, the courts have ruled that it is still the parents who hold the legal responsibility for his actions and that until children turn 18, parents are responsible for their children’s actions.

The parents in this case argued that they shouldn’t be held liable because their son drove the family car in violation of restrictions they imposed.

The court, however, did not see it that way, and ruled that Arizona parents are financially liable even when a minor son or daughter gets in an auto accident while driving a family vehicle in violation of parental instructions.

The court said it was enough that the son had consent from the parents to drive the car “for his pleasure and convenience.”

It is important for parents to have a good insurance policy that covers their children, especially in instances like this.

Hopefully, your child will never get in a serious accident, but if he or she does, just know that it is imperative to have the proper coverage and the very best legal representation, should the accident result in any injuries.

This post was intended to provide general information only and is not intended as specific legal advice. You should not rely upon this information alone, but should consult legal counsel regarding the application of the laws and regulations discussed and as applied to your specific case or circumstance.