If your child damages someone else's property are you responsible to pay for it?

Let's say your child broke an item in a store. If it was an accident legally you don't have to pay for it. The law in most states doesn't create liability for a child's actions when it's an accident. But if your know your child is prone to accidents and do nothing to prevent one you could be responsible. Now how many times have you heard about a kid hitting a baseball through a neighbor's window and figured the parent had to pay? Well the child is responsible for their own actions. They should pay for the damage or agree to do some form of work to cover the costs. The law imposes the obligation on you as a parent to pay for damages in three situations: First, when you knew your child was doing something wrong and didn't try to prevent it. Second, when the child is acting on your behalf. And, third, when the parent contributed to the damage by giving the child something dangerous to play with like firecrackers. As for the homeowner with the broken window, he may be stuck submitting a claim for insurance coverage. What if a child has an accident while driving your car? More about that in my next report.

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