Q: I am POA for senior parents. What is the liability for them & me if they get in an auto accident?
Both of my parents (aged 85 and 87) currently have active Texas licenses and auto insurance. Their physician tested and diagnosed them both with mild dementia Nov 5, 2019. They are both still able to dress, bathe, shop, etc. for themselves, just getting a little confused, weaker, repeating themselves, etc. My parents are fighting to keep their licenses as long as long as possible to be able to drive within a 1 - 5 mi range from their home. They have never had a ticket or accident. Dr. submitted their names to DPS, but it will take months for DPS and the medical board to review their situation (which they won't be able to pass). In the meantime, they will still be able to drive. Is that correct? What is the liability for all of us if that is the case? Should I do something to force the issue with them to stop them from driving immediately? Can I do that?
A: You are liable for negligence. Whether a jury will rule that you were negligent in continuing payments for car insurance and gas and not taking away the keys or disabling the car cannot be accurately predicted.
Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer
1 user found this answer helpful
A: It is possible that you are liable for negligent entrustment if you own the vehicles they are driving. These type of claims are difficult to prove and win on. However, what you are describing may make for a strong case for negligent entrustment. Ultimately, a jury have to be convinced to place blame on you. To be safe encourage your parents to stop driving especially if a Doctor has recommended it. At the very least it would be advisable to assure the are covered by an appropriate insurance and/or raise the limits of liability on the insurance.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.