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Wisconsin parents might have cap on specific libility claims
Shepherd Best of Milwaukee 2013

Raising children is an expensive endeavor. As the child grows, the parents have to spend money on various expenses. For some parents, the actions of the child will end up costing a significant amount, such as if the child is at fault for an accident. One expense that many parents don't think about having to cover is the expense of liability if their child who is under 18 years old causes an car accident. For parents in Wisconsin, there is currently no limit to the amount of money a parent is responsible for if their child causes a car accident.

For parents who have minor children, there might be some relief in sight for the worry about this unlimited liability. Assembly Bill 706 proposes that a $300,000 would be placed on the amount that parents would be responsible to pay. Advocates say this amount is greater than some realize. Opponents say that this limit errs on the side of the at-fault party instead of protecting the victim.

One opponent says that this law will only make parents carry less insurance. He says that there are some instances in which a parent is at least partially at fault for the accident. The example that he gives is if the accident is caused by texting while driving.

For parents who aren't wealthy, the unlimited liability could spell financial disaster, especially if the parents already face significant bills. While many parents won't ever have to face this situation, it is important to know that you might have options to get your debt under control if you end up with a personal injury judgment against you. Chapter 7 bankruptcy, for example, might help you to get credit card debt and other debt under control so you can get back on your feet.

Source: Wisconsin Law Journal, "Bill would end parents’ unlimited liability for auto accidents" Dan Shaw, Feb. 06, 2014

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