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Can You Sue When You are Injured by a Minor?

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If you are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, whether the at-fault party was a reckless driver, a store owner who failed to clean up a spill, or the manufacturer of a defective product that blew up in your hands, you have the right to sue for damages.  But what if the person who hurt you was legally incapable of being the “reasonable adult” we use to determine whether someone was negligent?  What if they have no assets?  What if the actions of a child caused your accident?  Does that mean you should be left fielding your own medical bills?  Read on for a discussion of injuries caused by minors, and contact a dedicated Pasadena personal injury lawyer for assistance.

You can sue after an injury caused by a minor

In California, minors can be held accountable for the injuries they cause.  Minors, of course, have little to no assets.  When a minor causes an accident, rather than suing the minor, you can bring a claim against the parents or guardians of the minor.  However, proving a claim against a minor is a bit different from bringing a claim against an adult.

You can generally sue after you are injured by a minor if the minor injured you intentionally.  If, for example, a minor willfully assaults you and causes you harm, you have a claim against their parent or guardian for medical, dental, and hospital costs.  The amount you can recover may be capped under California law and generally will not include non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. 

If your lawsuit is based on negligence or recklessness, the law is a bit different when dealing with at-fault children.  California has specific laws regarding car accidents caused by minors.  Under California law, the parent or parents who signed a minor’s application for a driver’s license can be held jointly and severally liable for injuries and vehicle damages caused by their minor children in an accident.  Liability depends on the minor driving with the express or implied permission of the parent or guardian. 

A parent may also be liable for other types of accidents caused by a minor child.  Parents may be sued under a theory of “negligent supervision” if they fail to supervise a child whom they know has a dangerous propensity.   California has specific laws that apply, for example, when a parent willfully or recklessly allows a minor access to a firearm and the minor injures or kills someone as a result.  For other types of accidents not covered by specific California laws, you may still have a claim; your California personal injury attorney can provide you with more information.

Call Pasadena Personal Injury Attorney Andrew Ritholz

If you’ve been hurt by someone else’s negligence in California, consult with an attorney who understands your rights and can protect your interests passionately and effectively. Contact Pasadena personal injury lawyer Andrew Ritholz for a free case evaluation at 626-844-7102.

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