Texas Personal Injury : Parental Responsibility for Children’s Acts of Negligence

Your child has committed some form of negligence in Texas resulting in a personal injury to another person. Are you as the parent responsible for your child’s negligence ? To what degree ? These are common questions being played out by San Antonio and greater Texas personal injury attorneys throughout the state and nation.

When faced with potential causes of action against parents of children who have committed negligent acts, several theories of liability may be utilized. The first theory is a failure of the parent(s) to supervise. The second theory is the parent allowing a child to operate a motor vehicle or dangerous objects. The final theory of liability surrounds personal injuries from drug or alcohol intoxication .

Several states subscribe to the rule that parents cannot be held liable for a failure to properly supervise their children. Yet there are certain situations in which a parent could very well be held civilly liable for the actions of their children. Those situations arise where parents negligently entrust their children with “dangerous instruments”.


A common form of dangerous instrument is a gun. However, many Texas and San Antonio residents would be surprised to learn that even a paintball gun can be classified as a dangerous instrument. The implication is that theoretically parents can be held liable where their child used a paintball gun to cause an eye injury to another minor, particularly in situations where the injury was caused outside an actual paintball game. Gun safety particularly in Texas with its abundant outdoor hunting opportunities is a serious issue for any parent to consider.


In other cases, a Texas All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) has been upheld to be a dangerous instrument. Juries have determined that due to the speeds associated with such a vehicle, and the ability of a passenger to hold on to the driver while seated, an ATV is a dangerous instrument.

The key question in many Texas personal injury cases is whether the parent was in fact aware that the child possessed the dangerous instrument. Another secondary factor is whether the parents knew of any potentially violent propensities of the child to hurt others. Generally, if it can be shown that the parent(s) did not know that the child possessed a dangerous instrument or knew of any violent predispositions of their children, Texas negligence claims for negligent supervision of children will fail as to the parents.

Enjoy the video – Baseluos Law Firm (BLF) will cover parental liability for their children’s negligent use of auto and minor alcohol consumption.

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