Parental Responsibility Laws in Florida

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Are Parents in Florida Liable for Their Children's actions?

Florida imposes parental responsibility laws, meaning that parents are liable for the damages or injuries caused by their children.

What Does Florida’s Parental Responsibility Law Cover?

Specifically, Florida’s parental responsibility laws hold parents responsible for damage caused by driving and vandalism.

Parental Responsibility for Driving

Under Florida state law, parents are jointly and severely liable for any property damages caused by their children’s driving. This duty also arises from the minor child’s driving application. In order for a minor child to get his permit, his parent or guardian must sign the application and provide the parent’s proof of identity. By taking those steps, parents agree to be financially responsible or any intentional or negligent driving acts of their children.

Parental Responsibility for Vandalism

Florida also holds parents financially responsible for any acts of vandalism their children commits. Vandalism is any malicious or willful act to destroy or to steal and real or personal property.

Is My Parental Responsibility Limited to Driving and Vandalism?

No. Even though Florida state law limits liability, parents may also be liable under common law. Thus, if a parent knows or should know of their children’s propensity to commit a tortuous act and does nothing to prevent it, then the parent may be liable as well.

For example, if a parent knew their child’s plan to egg a neighbor’s house on Halloween and the parent allows the child to leave the house with a dozen eggs, and then the parent will be financially responsible for the cleanup cost of neighbor’s house.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you rid or reduce your liability for the damages that your child caused. Also, he will help you strategize your case and assess the outcome.

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Last Modified: 08-19-2014 12:23 PM PDT

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