Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Posts
    2

    Default Who is Liable if a Teenager Wrecks a Borrowed ATV

    My son was 14 a year and a half ago when he wrecked his uncle's ATV while visiting for Thanksgiving in Colorado. His injuries were minor even though he easily could have died. Wreck occurred while I was inside cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Other family was outside. My son had been allowed to ride the ATVs earlier in the day but did not specifically ask to take it out for this particular ride. Keys were left in the ignition. He luckily wore a helmet. Uncle took the ATV in for estimated repairs this week and is asking for us to cover all damages, but refuses to file a claim under his homeowners policy first. Should he be required to file before demanding full payment of damages?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    16,866

    Default Re: Teen Wrecked Uncle's Atv on Their Property. Who is Liable for Damages

    Quote Quoting Dsocha
    View Post
    My son had been allowed to ride the ATVs earlier in the day but did not specifically ask to take it out for this particular ride. Keys were left in the ignition.
    That's permission.

    Quote Quoting Dsocha
    View Post
    Should he be required to file before demanding full payment of damages?
    No, not at all.

    In fact, you need to be reporting this to your own homeowners or renters insurance. It's a condition of your policy that you report all claims promptly. This is a claim. A member of your family is being blamed for damage to somebody's property. Your son is old enough be negligent in the eyes of the law and is therefore responsible for the damage (assuming that he was negligent in operating the ATV). He is an insured under your policy so your insurance will pay for the repairs.

    Parents, on the other hand, are not responsible for damage done by a minor unless the damage was willful or malicious. If that's the case then your liability is capped at $3500.

    See Colorado statute 13-21-107:

    https://www.courts.state.co.us/Court...ws.cfm#Parents

    You can, of course, pay out of your own pocket if you don't want to get your insurance involved.

    Or, you can refuse to pay and leave your son vulnerable to a lawsuit. A judgment against him would be good for 20 years and end up trashing his credit once he is old enough to have a credit report.

    By the way, even if his uncle filed a claim on his own policy, his insurance would come after your son for reimbursement.

    My advice: Keep peace in the family and pay the bill. If your son was hot dogging the ATV you can mete out punishment later.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,531

    Default Re: Teen Wrecked Uncle's Atv on Their Property. Who is Liable for Damages

    His injuries were minor even though he easily could have died.
    im curious as to why you felt this makes a difference. He was the cause of his own injuries. The fact he was injured does not relieve him of liability for damages he caused to another person’s property.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Teen Wrecked Uncle's Atv on Their Property. Who is Liable for Damages

    Thank you for the thorough response. My homeowners insurance said that because the accident was not on my property it is not covered.

    I agree with you. It is not worth causing family drama over.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    1,289

    Default Re: Teen Wrecked Uncle's Atv on Their Property. Who is Liable for Damages

    Your post raises a host of legal issues, but the answer to the only question you asked is no. An insured is never required to make a claim against his/her own insurance. Moreover, I highly doubt that your son's uncle's homeowner's insurance would provide any coverage for an ATV.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    16,866

    Default Re: Teen Wrecked Uncle's Atv on Their Property. Who is Liable for Damages

    Quote Quoting pg1067
    View Post
    Moreover, I highly doubt that your son's uncle's homeowner's insurance would provide any coverage for an ATV.
    That's correct if the ATV is registered for road use.

    However, homeowners policies do cover

    "motor vehicles" not required to be registered for use on public roads or property which are:
    (a) Used solely to service an "insured's" residence; or
    (b) Designed to assist the handicapped

    "Servicing" the insured's residence would probably be a stretch.

    1. Sponsored Links
       

Similar Threads

  1. Other Injuries: Are You Liable for Damage to a Borrowed Car
    By lawfacts in forum Accidents and Injuries
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-13-2017, 08:14 AM
  2. Sales Agreements: What Happens if You Sell a Vehicle to Somebody Who Wrecks it Before They Pay For It
    By delylasmom22 in forum Cars and Dealerships
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-31-2016, 07:32 AM
  3. Traffic Accidents: When Can a Vehicle Owner Be Held Liable for an Accident in a Borrowed Car
    By kylebakin in forum Accidents and Injuries
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-10-2013, 04:21 PM
  4. Drunk and Impaired Driving: Teenager Wrecks Car Without License and Gets DWI
    By dawn14320 in forum Drunk and Impaired Driving Charges
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-20-2012, 10:23 AM
  5. Roommates: Roommate's Cat Wrecks Apartment - What Can I Do?
    By The80sNightKing in forum Landlord-Tenant Law
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-21-2008, 06:15 PM
 
 
Sponsored Links

Legal Help, Information and Resources