Englewood, CO asked in Car Accidents, Personal Injury, Wrongful Death and Elder Law for Texas

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?

2 Lawyer Answers
Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Elder Law Lawyer
  • Austin, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

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

Miguel Angel Salazar
Miguel Angel Salazar
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Brownsville, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

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.

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