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When is a Parent Responsible for their Minor Child’s Wrongful Acts?

Posted by Guy DiMartino | Mar 03, 2013 | 0 Comments

Florida trial lawyer, Guy S. DiMartino, DC, JD explains when a parent is responsible for their minor child's wrongful acts. 

It happens all the time, a minor causes an injury to an innocent victim and the victim wants to know if the child's parents can be held responsible for injuries and damages.

The other day I received a phone call from a parent of a child who was beaten up by a child at school and the parent wanted to know if the other child's parents can be held responsible for her child's medical bills.  I explained that the parents may be responsible for the injuries if we could meet the elements of Florida law.

What is Florida's law regarding a parent's responsibility for  their child's actions?

The general rule is that parents are not responsible for their child's acts that cause injury to a third party.  However, all general rules have exceptions and Florida recognizes four situations in which the parent will be responsible:

  1. The parent entrusts the child with an instrumentality, which because of the child's lack of age, judgment or experience may become a danger to others.  For instance, a parent lets a child go out and use a gun, operate a boat, or run a tractor.
  2. The child injures somebody while acting as  the servant or agent of his/her parents.  For instance, the child is running an errand for their parent.
  3. The parent consents, directs or sanctions the wrongdoing.
  4. The parent fails to exercise control of their child even though the parent knows injury is possible.  For instance, the parent knows the child is a bully or has dangerous propensities.

Florida personal injury law can be complex.  If you or somebody you know has been injured because of the negligence of a minor, the minor's parents may be responsible for the injuries if one of the above exceptions can be met.

If you have any questions about a Florida personal injury claim, give me a call on my cell at (352) 267-9168 to speak with me directly or fill out the internet consultation form on the right.

About the Author

Guy DiMartino

I have loved helping people in need for almost three decades.  It has been my privilege to serve people as their pastor, chiropractor, and lawyer.  The current focus of my legal practice and life’s passion is helping the seriously injured receive complete compensation for their injuries. I am a Florida Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney. What that really means is that I am no stranger to the courtroom.  I have successfully tried and handled serious cases in state and federal courts.  My backgrounds in both law and chiropractic medicine have given me a unique perspective, extensive knowledge, and wide experience to serve those I represent. For years as a chiropractic physician, I treated my patients to alleviate their pain and suffering. Now as their lawyer, I fight to bring them financial compensation for their pain and suffering. During my years of service, I have handled many traumatic injury cases ranging from the traumatic amputation of a limb to brain and spinal cord injury.  I consider it an honor to serve you and your family. When a person entrusts me and I accept to represent them, I don’t take that relationship and responsibility lightly. My approach is that we work as a team. We are partners and our goal is the best outcome for you and your family with the highest level of communication throughout. I am always available by phone or email to discuss my potential representation of your injury case. I handle cases throughout Florida. Education: National University of Health Sciences – BS (1984), DC (1986) Valparaiso University School of Law – JD, summa cum laude (1999) Bar Admissions: Florida (2000), Indiana (1999), Illinois (2000, expired); US District Courts of Appeals (11th Circuit, 7th Circuit); United States District Courts: Southern and Middle Districts of Florida; Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana; Northern and Central Districts of Illinois; and District of Colorado. Certification:  Civil Trial, Florida Bar Guy DiMartino on Google+ – Circle Guy on Google+ Guy DiMartino on Google+

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