All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.
What Happens When an Underage Driver Causes an Auto Accident in Georgia?
A parent or parents may be held liable for an underage driver's conduct.
If an underage driver who does not have a valid learner’s permit, restricted driver’s license, or full valid driver’s license, that driver places not only him or herself at risk for facing a potential lawsuit (and perhaps the imposition of criminal charges), but he or she also places his or her parent(s) at risk as well. A parent or parents may be held liable for an underage driver’s conduct if one or more situations occur including, but not limited to, the following:
The parent(s) allowed the underage driver to operate a vehicle;
- Awareness on behalf of the parent(s) that the underage driver had a propensity to commit unlawful conduct such as operating a motor vehicle without having a valid learner’s permit or driver’s license;
- Awareness on behalf of the parent(s) that the underage driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, as such impairment may have played a role in the automobile accident; and
- The parent(s) did not make any attempts to stop the underage driver from operating a vehicle when there was an opportunity to do so.
There are numerous ways in which both an underage driver and that driver’s parent(s) may be held responsible for your injuries or those suffered by a loved one. While underage drivers may not have a full understanding of the consequences of their misconduct, and likely have no intention to cause harm, responsibility still should be placed on the person whose conduct can be linked to unnecessary, and often debilitating or life-threatening injuries suffered as a result of a very preventable automobile accident.