In reference to a personal injury: I am a victim of a violent act that happened in my home by another person. I was injured.

Asked almost 2 years ago - San Mateo, CA

The person that is responsible for the injury just barely turned 18 and still lives with and depends on her father. Can I hold her parents responsible for the injury when I go to small claims?

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Constantine D. Buzunis

    Contributor Level 17

    12

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . First you need to call the police and file a criminal complaint if you were attacked. Then you need to retain a lawyer that is experienced in these kinds of cases to represent you. If the other person was over 18 years when the incident occurred, then you can only sue them, unless there were others that were either directly involved or were part of some conspiracy to attack you for some reason?
    The fact that an adult still lives with there parents is of no consequence, unless the parents are somehow involved? You don't state the extent of your injuries, but if they are more than minor scrapes and bruises, you might want to consider filing in Superior Court versus Small Claims. If you prevail, you are entitled to a reasonable amount in damages for lost past and future wages, medical expenses, mileage to and from the doctors, and pain and suffering. You may also be able to recover punitive or exemplary damages for the other person's intentional act of assault and battery? You might also want to file a restraining order against the person that attacked you in order to try and keep them away from you in the future.
    You should talk to an exerienced lawyer about your case as soon as possible and stay away from the person that attacked you as well.

    Legal disclaimer:This message does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.... more
  2. Robert Bruce Kopelson

    Contributor Level 20

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Civil Code section 1714.1 makes parent with custody liable for the willful misconduct of the minor child up to 25k. It is limited to medical/dental/hospital expenses. The 25k is adjusted every 2 yrs for cost of living. This is in addition to any other bases for liability. Sometimes a parent can be negligent for how they are supervising the child. You should consult with a local injury lawyer to see about liability, whether small claims is appropriate, and the likelihood of collecting.

  3. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . In your state, the statute reads: (a) Any act of willful misconduct of a minor that results
    in injury or death to another person or in any injury to the property
    of another shall be imputed to the parent or guardian having custody
    and control of the minor for all purposes of civil damages, and the
    parent or guardian having custody and control shall be jointly and
    severally liable with the minor for any damages resulting from the
    willful misconduct.

    Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com
  4. Manuel Alzamora Juarez

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes. You can hold the parents reponsible if the child was a minor atthe time of the attack. Best of luck.

    This answer is provided by Manuel A. Juarez, Esq., El Abogado de Accidentes de Autos de California: 510-206-4492.... more
  5. Jeffrey Mark Adams

    Contributor Level 20

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Extremely difficult; if not impossible. Why small claims court? Implies "minor" damage.

    Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and... more
  6. Jeffrey Edmund Estes

    Contributor Level 4

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes, you can file a claim against the person who assaulted you ("defendant"). If the police were involved and the person is prosecuted, you may be entitled to benefits from the State of California Victim of Violent Crime program. If you want to pursue a civil action against the defendant you can as well. However, whether or not you will be able to actually recovery damages depends upon your injuries and whether or not he has assets or is covered under his parents homeowners insurance AND whether or not the assault has some negligent component to it so that it would be a "covered" act under the homeowners insurance policy.

    You could also simply file a claim in "small claims court".

    The information provided does NOT create an "attorney client" relationship with JEFFREY E. ESTES, PROF LAW... more
  7. Michael Ryan Juarez

    Contributor Level 16

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If the assailant is 18 years old he is considered to have reached the age of majority and your'll have to sue him directly. If he was 17 and his parents knew of his propensity to commit these types of acts they may be liable. Speak with a local attorney for further assistance.

    -Michael R. Juarez Law Office of Juarez and Schaeffer PO Box 16216 San Diego, CA 92105 (619) 804-4327 www.jslaw.... more

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