Liability in auto accidents

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Liability in auto accidents

I drive two neighbor children to school, along with my own three grandchildren.
How do I protect myself from being sued, should I have an accident and one of the
neighbor children is hurt or worse.

Asked on January 4, 2017 under Personal Injury, Utah


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

With adequate insurance: that is the only way to protect yourself from any car-related liability. Even if the parents were willing to sign liability waivers--documents giving up their right to sue for injury to their children--which is highly unlikely, the protecton afforded by such is very limited: you can only contract away (by waiver) the normal hazards of an activity. (E.g. a gym or health club can have you waive the right to sue them if you sprain or tear something by working out, since a normal hazard of even properly done exercise is an overuse or similar injury.) But a car accident is NOT a normal hazard of driving, since if you drive safely and obey the traffic laws, *you* will not cause any accidents--thus, since you cannot have other people contract away their right to sue you if you are negligent or careless, such a waiver would be of extremely limited utility. (Note: if another car hits you when you are not at fault, you would not be liable anyway unless you did something else negligent or careless, such as not making sure the children were buckled in). So having enough insurance is really the only way to protect yourself.

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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