Visitor Question

What’s the liability of a parent in PA for a child driver?

Submitted By: Lisa (PA)

In Pennsylvania, does transferring a vehicle title to my 17 year old child offer any protection from liability, should she be involved in an incident with the vehicle? Or will I continue to be liable until the age of 18?

In short, I’m wondering what’s the personal liability of a parent in PA for the minor driver of a car titled to the parent? Is there anything that can be done to minimize this liability (such as transferring title)? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Lisa,

Under PA Code Sections 5502 and 5505, a parent may be liable for the tortious actions of a minor child under the age of 18.

The word “Tortious” refers to acts which result in property damage or personal injury to other persons. There is a limit to the financial liability of a parent for personal injuries caused by their child. The limit is $1,000.00 for injuries to one person, and $2,500.00 for more than one person.

Here is the actual code language:

“Pennsylvania Code

Section 5502.

Liability of parents:

Any parent whose child is found liable or is adjudged guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction of a tortious act shall be liable to the person who suffers the injury to the extent set forth in this chapter.

Section 5505.

Monetary limits of liability:

(a)

General rule.–Liability of the parents under this chapter shall be limited to:

(1)

The sum of $1,000 for injuries suffered by any one person as a result of one tortious act or continuous series of tortious acts.

(2)

The sum of $2,500 regardless of the number of persons who suffer injury as a result of one tortious act.”

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: September 30, 2014

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