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

by Lisa

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.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "What's the liability of a parent in PA for a child driver?":

Lisa (PA):

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 an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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