Can the parents of an adult child be sued for the child’s wreck if they are not on the car loan or insurance policy?

UPDATED: Apr 24, 2014

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Can the parents of an adult child be sued for the child’s wreck if they are not on the car loan or insurance policy?

Asked on April 24, 2014 under Accident Law, Oklahoma


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If the child was a legal adult and is also legally competent, then the parents could only be sued if--

1) They are owners or part owners of the car (e.g. it's titled to them as well);

2) They in some way caused or contributed to the car accident (such as serving the adult child alchohol at their home before he or she drove; or if one of the parents tried to fix the car and failed, leaving it in a dangerous condition; etc.).

Merely being parents does not, without more, make you liable.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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