Child damages car: who pays?? (Liability) parents are (not always) liable for their children

Child damages car: who pays?

child damages car: who pays?

Children usually do not have the capacity for understanding of an adult and can only insufficiently judge the consequences of their actions.

Photo: alamy child in dicey traffic situation on a crosswalk

It is often difficult for children to assess what is happening on the road. If children cause damage in traffic, the question of who is liable often arises afterwards.

Liability for damage caused by children is generally strictly regulated, but individual cases may be decided depending on the age and circumstances of the damage. A ruling from munich concerning the case of a seven-year-old shows this.

If children damage parked cars, they can be held liable in certain circumstances from the age of seven. Whether an underage child is liable for the damage caused depends, however, on his or her ability to understand the situation. Nevertheless, even damage caused by a seven-year-old to a parked car can remain without consequences if he or she has misjudged a traffic hazard. This is shown by a ruling of the Munich district court. The judgment on the liability of parents for their children was negative for the plaintiff. The case in question involved a seven-year-old who wanted to cross the road with two kickboards, misjudged the traffic situation and damaged a parked car with the handlebars of the kickboards. The owner of the car sued for 1500 euros in damages, but the suit was dismissed. The reasoning: in this case, it was not just a matter of damage to a parked car, because the cause of the accident was a moving car. In the paragraphs 828 and 832 of the BGB one can get an overview of the exact legal situation, nevertheless in the case of doubt the individual case is crucial. More on this topic: even minor damage to vehicles must be reported.
Traffic law

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These rights apply at the crosswalk (video):

Car damage: are parents liable for their children??

It is generally known that parents are also liable for their children in the event of damage in road traffic. However, it is often not clear how the regulations are made up in detail and when children themselves become liable. According to paragraph 828 of the German Civil Code (BGB), minors up to the age of ten are not liable for any damage caused by them. However, this does not mean that the parents are liable for all damage caused by their children up to the age of ten. Parents are generally only liable in the event of a breach of their duty of supervision. This means that you are liable for any damage caused to a third party by the child under the supervision of the parents (paragraph 832 BGB). For example, parents are not released from their duty of supervision on the way to school. However, this does not mean that they have to accompany their child to school day after day. Once a child has been accompanied and made aware of the dangers, the duty of supervision is considered to have been fulfilled. This is especially important if the child itself is involved in an accident. More on the topic: accident with borrowed car

Liability: is there extra insurance cover for children in road traffic??

Often, insurance protection in road traffic is adequately covered by accident insurance, motor vehicle liability insurance and standard legal expenses insurance. Most insurance packages, known as family liability insurance, cover not only the first policyholder but also all family members, and some even include au pairs or exchange students. The insurance coverage applies to children under the condition that they are neither employed nor married. If you want to protect yourself and your family even better in road traffic, you should consider a separate traffic legal protection insurance policy. The rate to be paid differs according to how many people and vehicles are insured.
Traffic law

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Üthe parental liability insurance covers damages caused by children?

If the child who caused the damage is under ten years old or under the age of 18, then. In the case of parked vehicles seven years old and the parents have not violated their duty of supervision, the parents are not officially liable for the damage. According to the law, the child is not yet responsible. Nevertheless, there is a way to protect yourself from such damage with insurance. In such a case, neither accident insurance nor household insurance will protect the child, but only the family liability insurance. Parents are therefore best advised to choose a policy that also covers damage caused by children who are incapable of tort (under seven/ten years of age). In this case, the damage caused by the young children is also covered by the family liability insurance. In principle, family liability insurance is sufficient for the whole family. Coverage includes the policyholder, spouse or registered domestic partner, and all children in the household. No distinction is made between biological, foster, adopted or stepchildren. Depending on the insurance conditions, the co-insurance ends for the child at the latest at the age of 30. Year of life.

Does comprehensive insurance cover damage caused by children??

Unlike partially comprehensive insurance, fully comprehensive insurance often covers damage caused by non-liable parties. Depending on the deductible, however, you should consider whether it is worth reporting the damage in view of the deductible to be paid.

What arbitration options are there for liability issues?

If the child who caused the damage is not yet legally responsible and the parents have not violated their duty of supervision, the damage caused is not officially covered by anyone. Such a situation often leads to unpleasant disputes. If the parents of the child who caused the damage and the injured party cannot come to an appropriate agreement bilaterally, motor vehicle arbitration boards can assist in mediation. Arbitration offices are located in every municipality and support out-of-court arbitration. If an out-of-court settlement does not bring the desired success, the injured party is free to file a lawsuit for damages. If the culprit is not legally responsible for the damage (up to and including the tenth year of life), the action may be based exclusively on the violation of the parental duty of supervision or on the recognition of the insight of the culprit required for responsibility!

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Christina Cherry
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