Virginia Car Accidents: Va. Code Ann. §8.01-64 & 65 – a Lawyer’s Warning

Virginia Car Accidents: Va. Code Ann. §8.01-64 & 65 – a Lawyer’s Warning

Some parents and others allow underage children to drive the family car. But by Virginia statute, that exposes them to personal liability for vehicle accidents.

Va. Code Ann. §8.01-64 reaches any owner who allows and any other person who furnishes a minor who is under 16 years old and lacks a valid driver’s permit a motor vehicle to use. Such owners and others are liable with the minor for all damages negligently caused by vehicle accident.

Under Va. Code Ann. §8.01-65, proof of vehicle use without the owner’s “knowledge or consent, express or implied,” is a defense to liability. But the owner bears the burden of proving that.

Such vehicle entrustment to underage children also may implicate insurance coverage for vehicle accidents. Speak to the insurance agent – better yet, never entrust so!