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Georgia – Liability of Parents and Car Owners for Negligence of Teenage Drivers

By Stephanie Brown and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Georgia, a parent can be held liable for the negligence of a child driving an automobile that is maintained by the parent for the use and convenience of his family. If the parent, as the owner of the car, has given permission to his child to drive the car and has relinquished control of the car to the child then the parent can be held liable for injuries caused by the child as long as the child was in the car when the accident occurred and the car was being used for a “family purpose.”

The Georgia General Assembly passed a law designed to increase driving safety by teenaged drivers. All parents of Georgia teenage drivers need to be aware of “Joshua’s law,” which took effect on January 1, 2007. Joshua’s law came about after a tragic accident that resulted in the personal injuries and wrongful death of Joshua Brown. Joshua’s parents, Alan and LuGina Brown, realized that the accident could have possibly been avoided if the boy had had proper training and known what to do in such a situation. Under Joshua’s law in the State of Georgia, all sixteen year olds applying for a driver’s license must complete an approved driver education course and complete a total of 40 hours of supervised driving with a parent or guardian’s sworn verification that these driving requirements have been met. If a sixteen year old has not completed the approved driver education course, then he must wait until the age of seventeen to obtain a driver’s license. Even then, the seventeen year old driver must complete the 40 hours of supervised driving. Six of these 40 hours must be supervised night driving. For more information about these driving requirements, you can go to the Official Georgia Website at Educational Requirements for Teenage Drivers in Georgia.