From the first time you bring your child home from the hospital, you have done everything in your power to teach them how to be a good person, make smart choices, and follow the rules. Parents take responsibility for their children’s actions when they’re young, but does that responsibility extend as children grow into teenagers, once they begin driving?

Parents of teenage drivers are already worried about the potential for disaster once their child takes the wheel. Risks can come from other drivers and hazardous weather conditions, as well as from the teen driver themselves. Distractions such as alcohol, drugs, and other friends can have the potential for major accidents. Teen drivers who are negligent or who willfully break the law can cause serious damage to others on the road, and under Nebraska’s Parental Liability Law, their parents may be forced to shoulder the financial responsibility.

What is Parental Liability?

Parental liability is the responsibility assessed to the parent whenever a child is charged with causing damage to another person or property. This liability typically begins when the child is at the age of reason (somewhere between 8 to 9 years old) and should know the difference between right and wrong. This lasts until the child is considered a mature adult.

Under the Parental Responsibility Law in Nebraska, parents are jointly and severally liable when a minor child in their custody willfully and intentionally causes personal injury or destroys property. In Nebraska, this law is in effect until the child reaches majority age (18 years old). 

Due to common law, parents and guardians can be responsible for their minor’s actions even in cases where Nebraska’s Parental Responsibility Laws do not apply. Parents may have a duty to exercise reasonable care to monitor and control their minor child in certain situations, to prevent harm to others. This typically is only offered to parents who know their minor child has a tendency to act carelessly or recklessly. 

Drunk Driving and Responsibility In Parents

The courts can hold a minor’s parents responsible if the minor drinks and drives and causes an accident. Since the minor willingly broke the law, it is considered negligent. However, the parent can only be required to pay for the actual damages caused by the accident. These damages include medical expenses and damage to the vehicle, but do not extend to compensation for the victim’s pain and suffering.

Talk To Experienced Lawyers 

Speak to Friedman Law Offices today. If you have been injured by a young driver, it may be in your best interest to file a claim. For more information on your case and the options available to you, contact one of our experienced attorneys online or at our office.

Call us at 866-458-5468 or submit your case to us on our website!