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The Judge
The Judge, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Active family lawyer & former Family Court judge with over 30 years experience in family law.
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My daughter is 18, just graduated high school and is living ...

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My daughter is 18, just graduated high school and is living with us. She starts college in Sept and will continue to live at home.   Are we legally liable if she gets involved in an accident while impaired by alcohol using our vehicle? Are there any situations we are liable if she causes damages?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  The Judge replied 8 years ago.

There are situations that you may be liable if she was involved in an accident while alchohol impaired while using your vehicle.


For you to be liable for her actions, you must have committed an affirmative act that contributed to the damages that she caused. Under your scenario, that would most like occur if you gave your daughter the keys to the car and you knew or should have known that she was drunk. It could also occur if she was not drunk when you gave her the keys and you knew or should have known that she was likely to drink and diminish her ability to drive safely. The latter would arise only if she told you she was going to drinking, or you were aware of a history or pattern of that type of behavior. In those cases, you are not being held resposible for her actions, you are being held responsible for your own actions in facilitating her behavior. That is a very important distinction.

Also keep in mind, that your auto insurance will most likely cover any damages and provide you with an attorney to defend you if you are sued.

I'm going to repeat this because it is so important, just because she's your daughter and lives at home. You must commit your own act of negligence to be held resposible.

I hope this answers your question. If there is anything that you do not understand, please let me know and I will be happy to elaborate.

In the meantime, please click "Accept" so that I may be paid for my answer and any subsequent follow ups with you.


The Judge
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