Rear ended by unlicensed minor driving mom’s insured vehicle

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Rear ended by unlicensed minor driving mom’s insured vehicle

I was rear ended by a 17 year old who did not have a license, his vehicle pushed
me into a vehicle in front of me and I ended up hitting it. I went to the ER for
whiplash and got a fractured spine. Is his mom liable since he was unlicensed, and
does it matter if she was aware or not of him driving her car?

Asked on March 20, 2017 under Accident Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Assuming that he was not emancipated (legally no longer under this parent's control) at the time, which is highly likely--very few minors are emancipated at that age--then she is liable for his actions as the parent/legal guardian of a minor. Whether or not she knew that he was driving then is irrelevant; a parent/legal guardian is legally responsible for his/her minor's wrongful acts regardless of knowledge. You could sue her for your injuries, costs, etc.; of course, if she does not have much in the way of property or money, even if you sue her and win, you may not be paid--a successful lawsuit does not money appear where there is none.

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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