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Imputation of Negligence of Minor in Auto Accident-You can be held responsible for your Minor's Negligence in an Auto Accident!

Matthew Troutman Nov. 29, 2022

You can be held responsible for the negligence of a minor in a car accident under certain circumstances.

There are circumstances that exist where you can be held responsible for the negligence of another in an automobile accident. Under common law, there is a cause of action for negligent entrustment that can apply to an auto accident when someone gives permission of another they know or should have known would cause an accident if given permission to drive another’s vehicle. An example would be giving your car keys to someone you knew was intoxicated. Another example of being responsible for another who causes an accident is the common law concept of respondent superior, which means that an employer is responsible for the negligence of an employee committed while they are working.

When it comes to minor’s, Kentucky statute KRS 186.590 expands the circumstances when someone can be responsible for the negligent operation of a vehicle by someone else. If you sign the minor’s application for a driver’s license, then you are held liable for any accident they cause. If you give permission for a minor to drive your vehicle, you are jointly responsible even if you did not know they would likely cause an accident. A recent case reported in Kentucky where a 15-year-old stole keys out of his grandfather’s pockets while he was napping demonstrates the limits to imputing liability to another. Since no permission was granted by the grandfather, he was held not liable. Of course, the reason the injured party in that accident was making a claim against the grandfather is because the fact that the 15-year-old stole the vehicle meant that the coverage on the vehicle did not cover the 15-year-old. Most all automobile insurance polices have an exclusion of coverage for stolen vehicles. The only claim that the injured party could make would be an uninsured motorist claim assuming they have this coverage on their vehicle.

Contact Kentucky Auto Accident Attorney Matt Troutman!

If you need help with an auto accident claim in Louisville, Lexington, Covington or any town in Kentucky big or small, contact the Troutman Law Office at 502-648-9507 or click here and we will help you maximize your recovery and give you the personal attention you deserve.