Am I financially Responsible for My Teenage Child’s Bad Driving?

I occasionally get asked in class from a nervous parent, whose sixteen-year-old child is about to become a licensed driver.  “Am I legally responsible if my child causes a collision that injures somebody else?”

The Answer is Maybe.

Arizona is one of just a few jurisdictions that recognize parental responsibility for the negligent driving of a child.  The Family Purpose Doctrine imposes liability on the head of household (like a parent) for the negligent driving of members of the household (like a child) who uses the family vehicle for a “family purpose.”  The Arizona Supreme Court first recognized this doctrine in 1919, and in 2011 reaffirmed it as the law in Arizona

Defensive Driving