Q: If I were to get into an accident, god forbid, would the parent of my tutoree be able to sue me?
Hi. I am tutoring a 16 year old. His mother asked if I drop him home from the library. Can she sue me for life if I get into an accident, how can I avoid this situation? I'm worried. Can I have her sign a contract or is verbal/text consent okay? I am a 20+ adult.
A: As a driver you are responsible of any injuries which result from your negligence. That includes passengers, other people be they drivers, passengers in other vehicles or pedestrians/ property. Anyone can sue you and possibly also look to your employer if it can be argued that operation of the vehicle was a function of your employer. She could be liable personally or through property and umbrella policies.
A: Yes, you could be sued for any injury that your student would incur anywhere or anyplace not just in your car. This is the reason people start business, incorporate and hire a lawyer to draft documents to protect them.
The short answer is that if you are so nervous about driving someone home from a tutoring session, then politely tell the parent that you are not comfortable driving their child because of potential liability issues, in the event you get into an accident with their child in your car. The parent may not be happy with your decision, but at least they will know why you dont want to do it.
As for liability, any time you have a passenger in your car, you have a level of risk in the event you are in an accident and the passenger is injured. That risk is greatly reduced (but not eliminated) by maintaining appropriate auto insurance coverage but if you are driving and you cause an accident and your passenger is injured and the extent of damages to your passenger is more than the amount of your coverage, then you do run the risk that ultimately, you may have personal liability, and potentially a judgment could be entered against you for that amount of damages caused.
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