20 yos had a wreck. Having a tough time.

He rear ended a woman. She was taken by ambulance since she was pregnant. She was driving illegally and did not have insurance. He does not have a job right now. He just does little odd jobs every once and a while for gas money (and maybe drugs but hardly makes anything). He got a letter from an attorney. Our insurance man thinks the insurance will cover everything, but I asked our son to call me about this. He has not called. He has been staying with a friend a lot though he lives at home. He is totally irresponsible. He hasn't even filed his taxes yet, even though he is getting a refund. He used marijuana in the past and I'm pretty sure he is doing it again. His irresponsibility is so frustrating at this time. I guess I am just venting. He has also stopped texting me when he won't be home. (using friend's phones since he doesn't even have a working phone). We hardly require anything of him, since he lives at home rent free, besides texting us to let us know his whereabouts and not bringing drugs into our house. He is basically respectful to us and does not cause problems in that way. Does anyone know if parents are responsible for a 20-year-old in case this lady sues him?
It is mandatory by our insurance company for him to be on our insurance policy. However, I would love to drop his truck from our policy but this is just what I'm concerned about - that we will be liable. When he was working, he paid us, but he is about a year past due on his insurance bill. If I knew I had no liability, I would probably drop his truck like a hot potato. Hopefully, I can do it when he turns 21. If he gets a job soon and starts paying his insurance in a more timely manner, then I could keep him on our policy. Of course, our insurance is probably going to go way up because of this claim (medical bills, etc.)


one day at a time
Christian, I am sorry you are here.

My SO is an insurance man and I asked him about this. I don't know where you are (country or state) but you can put the vehicle in his name and then get his own separate policy. Then you will not be liable.

Please check into this so you can disconnect from this financial risk. We put my son's car in his name long ago. The title is in his name only even though we helped pay for it. Actually he was supposed to pay us back but that never happened. Shocking, right?

Anyway, his insurance or lack thereof is now his problem. He has had multiple traffic violations and the last time he got car insurance he got it for a month from one of those discount brokers. It actually was a lot cheaper than I every would have imagined. He paid it for one month and not again. That's HIS deal. Not mine.

Just a thought. If you are just starting to deal with the issues you describe with your son, please read this forum. Maybe your son will not go down any of these roads, and I truly hope he does not. But if what you describe continues, you will need to start thinking more about yourself and less about him. He is 20 years old. In the eyes of the world, legally, he is an adult, no matter how childlike he is acting. That means his decisions and his choices have adult consequences. The sooner you start treating him as an adult, the sooner you will find more peace every day. And we all hope, the sooner he will make different choices.

Today, I have done that, and my son is still doing the same thing he has done for the past four years. He is 24.5 years old. He is making his own choices and living his own consequences. I am working on myself and my ability to completely let go of him.
And that is the hardest thing in the world to do. I still love him so much and that will never change. However, our relationship is much different than it used to be. Today he is back in jail for shoplifting. It seems never to end.

Please keep coming back and sharing with us. We are here to help and listen. And your decisions are always yours alone.

Blessings and hope and prayers directed to you today.


Well-Known Member
COM, thank you for answering her. I was not sure what to say. I woke up in the middle of the night and often I check the board and saw this and felt this poor woman's pain and wasn't sure how to soothe her so I was hoping somebody would come along who could and you did and your words are so kind and in my opinion so true. I told you, I feel you are one of the wiser ones.

The christianmom, I am so sorry you have to be here, but we try to be supportive a nd helpful. Maybe you'd like to share more about your son and your struggles. We are here.

When my daughter was using drugs, she got into a monster accident and totaled the car she was driving. She was sued for $14,000 which followed her even after she quit using drugs. Eventually, although her father and I had cut off her money supply completely when she was using drugs, her father paid the debt because she had quit years ago and she would never be able to pay it back. She was fortunate that ex had just inherited a bunch of money because otherwise it would not have been possible for him to do this for her. And we were divorced by then and I have no extra money to help anyone. But as long as she was using drugs, both of us did not give her a dime, nor could she live at home. We stopped letting her use our vehicles and cut off her car insurance after she took a joy ride with our van and she still found friends who stupidly let her drive. Of course, they were probably as high and her. Anyhow, because we never let her drive anything of ours, we were off the hook with this huge accident.

To the original poster, I would consider that with your son's behavior, he may be using more than pot or using pot every day. Why give him a car if he is going to be high w hile he drives? He could kill himself or somebody else. That would be a real guilt trip for you if it happened because you let him behind the wheel. At least, with us, we did all we could to keep her from driving.

We did all we could to make it very difficult for Daughter to use drugs. We feel fortunate that her personal journey including quitting years ago.

It's nice to "meet" you, but, again, sorry you had to come.
Thank you everyone. The vehicle is in his name because he paid for it when he was around 17. But he has to be on our insurance policy because he lives with us (all licensed drivers in our house - to drive our vehicles I guess). I want to just take his truck off. Yes, we have been dealing with issues for a while. He had gotten better and is relapsing I think.
To midwest Mom, we have not given him the car. He bought it when he was around 17. He is responsible for his own actions, like if he doesn't want to pay his taxes, or if he doesn't show up at court for his traffic ticket, etc. But this involves my husband and me, that is why I am not sure what to do. This time, it affects us (potentially). My insurance man told me before the wreck when I was talking about things like this, that we could be sued, since he is under 21. That is why I think I need to keep insurance on his truck until he is 21. But I might change it to lower limits. Thank you everyone.


Well-Known Member
christianmom we had the same problem with our daughter and car insurance. Our insurance company required her to be on our policy even though the car was in her name, because she lived with us all drivers had to be on the same policy. Their reason was that if she lived with us there would be the strong possibility that she could drive our cars if needed. We were stuck until she moved out and we got her her own policy. Even then they reqired that we fax them proof that she had her own policy and was at a different address. Perhaps every state is different.

I would definitely get legal advice on this, especially because there was physical injury involved, or call your insurance company and make sure they are going to handle the legal aspects. Some attorneys that deal in personal injury smell these cases out and it can get very costly.

As far as your son's pot use, I get that also. My daughter was doing the same thing and became very irresponsible. Those who say they want to legalize pot have no idea what they are in for. It may be time that your son looks for his own place to live.

I am really sorry for what you are going through but I have walked in your shoes and it doesn't get better until they are on their own and living with their own choices.
We had our 2 kids on our policy for awhile. They each had a couple of wrecks, no other cars involved, but they were taken off our policy by our ins co and to this day there is a stmt on our policy that they cannot drive our cars. easy child is 32 anf this occurred at abt. 18-19. Is this possible for christianmom?

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one day at a time
SO says you can get him his own policy for his own vehicle. Regardless of anything else.

The insurance company can say that all licensed drivers must be listed on your policy that covers just your vehicles not his.

His vehicle in his name on his own policy. Anything that happens there is his deal and they can't attach you for that.

I know it is confusing but this can be done.

If your agent won't do it go to a different agent with the same company or go to a different company.

SO says your agent should advise you on this and help you get him off your policy but some are not as professional as they should be.

And be aware that this is going to likely be expensive as I am sure you are.

My son can't afford a car today and I finally was able to let that go. There are other ways to get to work besides your own car and if you are going to live this kind of irresponsible life then you can figure out how to get to work.

Anyway hope that helps.
I'm wondering if the other driver not having insurance and driving illegally (using a learner's permit without a licensed driver with her) will have any positive effect for us on this situation. By the way, he does not have a job now. He has probably made less than $300 with little odd jobs in the last 2-1/2 months


Well-Known Member
Staff member
I think it is different depending on the state that you live in. We were able to have our difficult child get her own policy even though she was living with us. The car was in her name and the policy was separate from ours. It was not very expensive since it was for liability only.
Thank you everyone. I did have some good news tonight. He texted and told me what he's been doing and also said he will do his taxes on Monday (without me asking him about it). I am definitely going to check on the insurance laws in my state. When he worked, he paid us diligently towards his debt.


Well-Known Member
I can answer one question you asked...about the other driver. I dont think that will make a bit of difference in the claim against your insurance company. Your son was clearly at fault. It would be totally different if she had hit him.

As far as everyone in the household having to be on the same insurance policy, that must differ from state to state because I never put my kids on my insurance and I have never added any of the assorted house guests that over stayed their welcome. Now I didnt allow my kids to even get a license until they were 18 or over.

Hopefully the other driver wasnt hurt badly so it wont go into any litigation but she will just settle with the insurance company. My SO wrecked my car last July and it didnt effect our insurance at all. Even though he also rear ended someone he didnt get a ticket. It was a strange situation.... not your average rear end accident. In my case my car was totaled but the other car barely got dinged and the lovely elderly couple werent hurt. They left the scene after the cops came and went on to church! We got lucky.
Well, he still has not filed his taxes (getting a refund) and his traffic ticket is due next week. So he may get a warrant for his arrest, has 3 points on his license (these two things plus the wreck can make our insurance go up), and I called a lawyer - if he is on our insurance.period.even over 21, we are liable. So I called our insurance agent and he was able to take him off. What a relief. I believe it was our old insurance agent that told us we had to have him on our insurance. We just need to make sure he doesn't drive our vehicles now.


Well-Known Member
Who in their right mind would not file their taxes if they are due a refund? Oh yeah I forgot, our difficult children. I'm glad you were able to get him off your insurance.