When is a Parent Responsible for their Minor Child’s Wrongful Acts? | Guy S. DiMartino DC, JD, PA

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

It happens all the time, a minor causes an injury to an innocent victim and the victim wants to know if the childs 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 childs parents can be held responsible for her childs medical bills. I explained that the parents may be responsible for the injuries if we could meet the elements of Florida law.

What is Floridas law regarding a parents responsibility for their childs actions?

The general rule is that parents are not responsible for their childs 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 childs 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 minors 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.