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Posted on in Car Wrecks

TX accident lawyerRecently, two teenage girls, 16 and 17 years of age, stole a car and were driving around in it when they struck a pole on DeZavala Road, near Lockhill Selma Road. One of the girls became trapped in the car and had to be rescued by firefighters, and both girls were taken to a nearby hospital with “serious but non-life-threatening” injuries. While no other people were allegedly injured by the girls’ actions, this is often not the case when minors cause auto accidents, and both they and their parents can sometimes be on the hook for serious damages. If your child has caused a vehicle accident in Texas, you need to be aware of your position immediately, so you can protect yourself and your child as best you can.

Parental Liability

While most parents do their best to prepare their kids for the so-called ‘real world,’ there are some things that come as a surprise even to them. One of those realities, for many people, is that parents can be held civilly liable for the actions of their children in many circumstances. Texas law specifically illustrates two: if the child is between the ages of 10 and 18, and their actions were “willful and malicious”; or if the courts can reasonably attribute the child’s “negligent” conduct to a “negligent failure” on the parent or guardian’s part. For example, if a parent knows that their child is prone to texting and driving, it might be considered a “negligent failure” to allow them to drive while still in possession of their cellphone.

That said, it is important to keep in mind that Texas’ parental liability statute only pertains to incidents of property damage - not to cases involving personal injury. The parents of the girls who hit the pole on DeZavala Road will likely be held liable for their daughters’ actions in causing damage to the car and the pole. However, if the girls’ actions had injured anyone else, the injured person would have to file a lawsuit in order to have a chance at recovery of their damages.


TX injury lawyerRecently, a serious crash in the 6500 block of Padre Drive, in south San Antonio, claimed the life of a 15-year old girl and caused significant property damage to a home and yard. A Ford Fusion lost control after hitting a curb, crashing through a wooden fence, hitting a tree and bringing branches down on the home. The remarkable fact about this accident is that police identified the driver of the Fusion as a 14-year old girl, who is now facing charges of intoxication manslaughter. This episode raises questions about Texas’ parental liability statutes, as many people do not have any idea that they might be held liable for damage that their children cause.

Property Damage Only

Texas, like most other states, does have a parental liability statute which states that parents can be held liable for the conduct of their children. However, the important thing to keep in mind about Texas’ particular law is that it only applies to property damage. If your child causes property damage, you as a parent can be held liable for that damage if one of two conditions applies. The first is if your child between the ages of 10 and 18 can be shown to have acted willfully or maliciously. The second is if your child’s conduct can be “reasonably attributed” to your negligent parenting. The owners of the home whose fence and tree were damaged in the Padre Drive accident could plausibly sue the young driver’s parents under this statute over the damage to their home.

The language used in both conditions is important. The key words are “willfully or maliciously” - meaning that if your child accidentally causes property damage, you will not be held liable - and “reasonably attributed.” The concept of ‘reasonableness’ is a difficult one to establish in law because it is so subjective, but in general, if a reasonable person would attribute your child’s conduct to your failure to parent them properly, then it is a good sign that you may be held liable for the damage caused.


The sooner you call, the sooner we can build your case, secure evidence and get maximum compensation for your injuries.

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