Am I Liable for Son Running Scooter into Parked Car?
The answer will be a matter of subjective determination for the court, based on all the facts and circumstances involved, such as whether the car was parked in a no parking zone and the degree of care exercised by the son in driving the scooter.
If the son is a Minor:
Chapter 41 of the Family Code deals with the liability of the parent for conduct of child.
sec. 41.001 Liability. A parent or other person who has the duty of control and reasonable discipline of a child is liable for any property damage proximately caused by:
(1) The negligent conduct of the child if the conduct is reasonably attributable to the negligent failure of the parent or other person to exercise that duty; or
(2) The wilful and malicious conduct of a child who is at least 10 years of age but under 18 years of age.
The General rules:
The general rule is that a driver of an automobile must use that degree of care for his own safety which the particular circumstances require. The driver must be alert when there is thick fog, heavy rains and complex traffic. The applicable test is: Did he/she, under the circumstances, act like a reasonably careful, prudent driver, having due regard for his/her own safety and the safety of others? A person’s actions must fall short of the reasonable person standard in order for him/her to be found negligent. However, minors are typically held to a lower standard than adults.
If a car parked without light in a place not meant for parking during night is hit, the owner of the car is liable for negligence. In such cases, the driver of the vehicle who hit the parked car is entitled to damages. However, a driver of the vehicle has a duty to act like a prudent person and may have damages reduced in proportion to his contributory fault in hitting a parked vehicle.
The following are WA statutes:
RCW 4.22.005 In an action based on fault seeking to recover damages for
In an action based on fault seeking to recover damages for injury or
death to person or harm to property, any contributory fault chargeable to
the claimant diminishes proportionately the amount awarded as compensatory
damages for an injury attributable to the claimant's contributory fault,
but does not bar recovery. This rule applies whether or not under prior law
the claimant's contributory fault constituted a defense or was disregarded
under applicable legal doctrines, such as last clear chance.
RCW 4.22.015 "Fault" includes acts or omissions, including misuse of a
"Fault" includes acts or omissions, including misuse of a product, that
are in any measure negligent or reckless toward the person or property of
the actor or others, or that subject a person to strict tort liability or
liability on a product liability claim. The term also includes breach of
warranty, unreasonable assumption of risk, and unreasonable failure to
avoid an injury or to mitigate damages. Legal requirements of causal
relation apply both to fault as the basis for liability and to contributory
A comparison of fault for any purpose under RCW 4.22.005 through 4.22.060
shall involve consideration of both the nature of the conduct of the
parties to the action and the extent of the causal relation between such
conduct and the damages.