Although many people can safely drive a car year after year without an issue, driving a car is actually a complex activity that requires a significant amount of coordination, judgment, and skill. Like other technical skills, driving is something that takes practice to master. Thus, young and inexperienced drivers are those most likely to cause Georgia car accidents. Indeed, according to government statistics, there are over 180 fatal Georgia car accidents involving motorists aged under 21 years of age. Of course, this does not consider the number of accidents caused by inexperienced drivers as well as those resulting only in injury.
Regardless of a driver’s experience, they owe the motorists with whom they share the road a duty of care to safely operate their vehicle and to follow all posted traffic signs and traffic laws. When a youthful or inexperienced driver causes an accident, they may be held liable for any injuries that are caused as a result.
One issue that may arise in a Georgia car accident involving a young driver is whether that driver’s parents can be held responsible. This is important because most young drivers have few assets with which to compensate an accident victim. However, under the family purpose doctrine, parents may be liable for a child’s negligence in some circumstances.
Under Georgia case law, mere ownership of a vehicle, without proof of additional facts, will not result in a parent being held liable for a child’s negligence. However, “when an owner of a vehicle maintains the vehicle for the use and convenience of his family, that owner may be held liable for the negligence of a family member who was using the vehicle for a family purpose.” Importantly, the family purpose doctrine is not limited to parent-child relationships, but applies to any family members living in the same household.
Of course, regardless of parental responsibility, the insurance company that covers the vehicle may defend any claims that are made against a young driver. However, given the fact that many Georgia motorists carry only the minimum level of insurance that is required by law, if a young person’s parents can be named in a Georgia personal injury lawsuit, it puts the accident victim in a better position because it may increase their chance at fully recovering for their injuries.
Have You Been Injured in a Georgia Car Accident?
If you or someone you care about has recently been injured in a Georgia car accident, the dedicated Georgia personal injury lawyers at McAleer Law can help you pursue a claim for compensation. At McAleer Law, we have decades of combined experience assisting Georgia accident victims and their families recover for the injuries they have sustained. We represent clients across Georgia in all types of Georgia car accident claims. To learn more, call 404-622-5337 to schedule a free consultation today. Calling is free, and we will not bill you for our services unless we are able to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
See More Posts:
Georgia Court Permits Plaintiff’s Slip-and-Fall Case to Proceed against Maintenance Company, Georgia Injury Attorney Blog, December 18, 2018.
Georgia Court Considers Case Involving Car Accident Allegedly Caused by Defendant’s Controlled Burn, Georgia Injury Attorney Blog, December 10, 2018.