Are Ohio Parents Liable for Injuries Caused by their Children?

Did you know that in the State of Ohio, parents can be held liable for their children’s willful and malicious assaults and personal injury damages?

It’s true. Unfortunately, many parents don’t realize this – until it’s too late.

In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of this Ohio law.

What Does the Law Say in Ohio?

Under Ohio Revised Code (“R.C.”) Section 3109.10, the parents of a minor child can be held liable for the assaults caused by their children. Ohio Revised Code Section 3109.10 states that when a minor child willfully and maliciously assaults someone by using force likely to cause great bodily harm, a parent can be held liable for up to $10,000 and court costs.

What Does “Willful and Malicious” Mean?

Under this statute, willful and malicious assault means “force likely to produce great bodily harm.” Willful means that the child intends to commit the act taken. Parents can be held liable for property damage and theft caused by their minor children.

Liability for Injuries Caused by Guns Found in the Home

A parent can also be held liable when their children find a gun that is kept in their home and injures someone. If the parent is negligent in storing the gun or permits the child to have access to it, the parent can be held liable for negligence in failing to properly secure the weapon or by allowing the child to have access to it.

The improper or illegal use of a gun by a child that results in injury to another person is covered under the Parental Liability Statute mandated by R.C. 3109.10.

Damages Caused by a Minor Child

If you or your child is the victim of an assault or injury caused by a minor child, the damages that you are entitled to may include the following (for a maximum amount of $10,000.00 plus court costs):

  • The nature, character & extent of the injury (including the effect the injury has had on physical health).
  • Physical pain.
  • Physical impairments.
  • Mental suffering or anxiety.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Inability to perform usual activities.
  • Humiliation.
  • Loss of earnings.
  • Hospital & medical expenses.
  • Permanent injury & expense.

For a more in-depth explanation of each of these damages, check out our personal injury informational webpage.

Have a Question?

If your child has been injured or has caused injury to another, feel free to send us your questions. We will be happy to assist you during this difficult time.

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