I was hit by a teenaged driver – do I have a claim or a lawsuit against her parents?
In Virginia, have a claim against the negligent teenaged driver after an auto accident, but not her parents. This is true even if the teenaged driver was unlicensed or still driving with a learner’s permit.
Of course, there are exceptions to this rule: if a drunk teenager asks her parents for the family car and they toss her the keys and tell her to have a good time and she goes out and crashes the car, you might have a claim against the parents under a negligent entrustment theory of law. But it’s hard to imagine that set of facts ever occurring in Virginia.
This does not mean that you cannot bring a claim against the parent’s insurance company, however. In most cases, the child is either a named insured on the policy or was driving a car covered by the parent’s insurance policy and so would benefit from their coverage.
If you have been in an auto accident with a teenage driver and are interested in talking to us more about the potential issues that might arise during the claims process or after a lawsuit is filed, please give us a call at (703) 385-1100.