Who would be responsible for an accident involving an unlicensed minor?
Question Details: My daughter was parked in a parking lot when her vehicle was hit by a car driven by a 15 year old girl. The car also had dealer tags. There were other young ladies in the car but none were of legal age. The police were called but since it was in a parking lot my daughter was told that they have no jurisdiction and could only provide an incident report. Before the officer arrived adult member's for the girls family arrived and the girl got in their car. She even refused to get out and speak with the officer. The officer ran the insurance information and it came back valid. The girl was not ticketed for driving without a license. It would be easy enough to prove she was driving as the business has surveillance cameras. The dealer tag came back to a dealership that upon googling has three different addresses and all are boarded up. When my daughter contacted the insurance company they told her that the policy was no longer in effect. She called back a second time and didn't even identify herself and was instantly told that she would have to contact her own insurance company. When she called the number provided during the information exchange she asked for the contact name she was given and they stated he was unavailable and he has never returned a call. Even in a parking lot shouldn't the girl or a guardian been ticketed for driving with no license and/or no legal licensed driver with her? And who is responsible for the damages?
The registered owner of the vehicle that hit your daughter's car is liable for the property damage (cost of repairs) to your daughter's car. The driver should have received a ticket for driving without a license.
Since the registered owner was uninsured, your daughter's recourse is to file an uninsured motorist claim through her own insurance company to have her car repaired.
If your daughter does not have uninsured motorist coverage, her only recourse is to sue the registered owner of the at-fault vehicle for negligence. Depending on the amount of damage to your daughter's car, she may be able to file the lawsuit in small claims court.
Upon prevailing in the case, your daughter can also recover court costs which include the court filing fee and process server fee. A monetary judgment can be enforced with a wage garnishment.