Jim Adler | The Tough, Smart Lawyer
By Jim Adler November 8, 2016

You hear the stories on the news all the time: a newly licensed teen driver – or worse, a child too young to even legally have a license – takes his parents’ car keys and goes joyriding, then causes an accident. Suddenly, innocent people are faced with property damage to their vehicle, serious personal injuries, and with medical bills to pay. But the child doesn’t have any money, and he may not even be insured!

What can the victims do? Can the child’s parents be held legally responsible for their child’s actions?

In Texas, the answer may be yes!

Parental Liability

In Texas, parents have a duty to control and reasonably discipline their children, and parents who negligently fail to exercise this duty can be held responsible. Parents are not held liable just because their child has hurt someone. Rather, the parents must have reasonably anticipated the consequences of their actions under the circumstances. This is called “foreseeability.”

But what “circumstances” create parental liability? Talk to the experts at Jim Adler & Associates!

Each case must be decided based on its unique facts!


Whether a child’s accident was “foreseeable” is a case-by-case determination.

For example, Texas courts have held a mother liable when she left her children in the back seat of her running car unattended, the children crawled into the front, and their play crashed the car into a nearby building and pedestrian. See Moody v. Clark, 266 S.W.2d 907 (Tex. Civ. App.—Texarkana 1954, writ ref’d n.r.e.).

However, Texas courts have rejected liability for parents who entrusted a motor boat to their 13-year-old daughter, even though the daughter caused an accident, because there was no evidence the parents knew or should have known their daughter was an incompetent or reckless boater. See Newkumet v. Allen, 230 S.W.3d 518 (Tex. App.—Eastland 2007, no pet.).

The ultimate question is whether a “reasonable” parent would have foreseen the dangers of his or her actions or inaction. Courts will consider whether the child lacked a driver’s license or had a history of reckless or incompetent conduct that would have put the parents on notice of a danger.

Liability Caps

Texas limits parental liability for property damage caused by a child’s wrongful conduct in some circumstances. If the child’s conduct was “willful and malicious,” the parents’ liability is limited to $25,000, plus court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees. Tex. Fam. Code § 41.002. There is no such limit for merely negligent conduct.

This law protects parents from paying for serious conduct when only their children should be blamed. However, it may also result in injured parties receiving too little money for their injuries.

Insurance Coverage

Injured parties may also receive inadequate compensation if there are insurance coverage issues. For instance, homeowners insurance can cover acts that take place away from the home, but most policies expressly exclude acts with an automobile. And while many auto insurance policies cover people using the car with the policyholder’s permission, some insurers issue cheap “named driver” policies with less coverage.

Only Jim Adler can fight the insurance companies and get you the coverage you deserve!
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Google Reviews

I went to the office and everyone was so considerate and professional , so my first impression was good, I felt like I was in good hands. Then I received a call from Vanessa Garcia, she was on top of EVERYTHING! I never had to call her, she always called me. She even called to see how I was doing , and if I needed help with anything. That is why I have absolutely no worries.read more
13:42 01 Jun 17
My lawyer Bill Adler and case manager Iris Sanchez are amazing! They constantly call and check on you . They keep you up to date through the process. They care about you as a person and not just a client. The wreck was a life changing experience that I've never been through before. I'm just glad I had the right people like Bill Adler and Iris Sanchez to help me through it. Truly satisfied.Thanks and God bless y'all!read more
Tierra Clark
Tierra Clark
18:52 19 May 17
I was dropped from a previous law firm regarding my case before I called Jim Adler. They immediately took up my case and worked hard on it - I was always up to date with each step they took and the benefits or consequences of each. In the end, I am highly satisfied with the outcome and would not have it any other way. It took some time but I truly appreciate and want to thank everybody who helped me on this journey and worked tirelessly on it.read more
Tori Barroga
Tori Barroga
14:17 11 May 17
I am a Patrol Deputy for the Sheriff Office and while working one night, a drunk driver crossed the center stripe on the highway and struck my patrol vehicle head on with his pick up truck. Needless to say we (the drunk driver and I) were both lucky to survive, as the accident occurred at highway speeds. Following my release from the hospital, I knew that I would need to have someone represent me. My employer was happy to represent me in regards to prosecuting the driver for criminal charges but, can do little in respect to the recovery of financial losses for medical bills, pain and discomfort, time lost from work etc... This is how my relationship with Jim Adler and Associates began. Yep, you probably guessed correctly when you think of what made me choose the "Texas Hammer" to represent me. Those half obnoxious, half way entertaining commercials and radio announcements most Texans have been seeing and hearing on the TV and radio for years instantly came to mind. Yes, I wanted to "hammer" this S.O.B. for trying to kill me but, more importantly I was worried about the costs associated with the life long injuries I had sustained as a result of this drunk driver's negligent behavior. I contacted Jim Adler and Associates and so began our relationship. I was immediately surprised by the prompt attention and the expression of genuine concern for my well being that I received from the employees of Jim Adler's office. Now as you can imagine, lawyers are not a breed that is held in very high regard by people in my profession but, my experiences with Jim Adler's office and his employees have forced me to amend my way of thinking, at least on the civil side of the house anyway. I have to chuckle when I say that because my experience as a client of Jim Adler's firm has been exceptionally pleasant. So before I venture down one of the stereotypical and infinite number of rabbit holes associated with the relationship between members of law enforcement and lawyers; I will do my best to stay focused on my experience with Jim Adler & Associates. Upon being informed that my case had been accepted by Jim Adler's office; I was contacted by Iris Sanchez who informed me that she was to be my case manager and any questions, comments and concerns could be directed to her. I was pleasantly surprised to receive regular calls from Iris assisting with my medical appointments and future follow up appointments. Iris had informed me that Jim Adler's son, Bill Adler would be handling my case and I was even more surprised to receive several calls from Bill to discuss my case. Now you might be thinking "what's the big deal" with the person who is representing you contacting you? In reality, you are correct in that it isn't a big deal but, what is noteworthy and what separates Jim Adler's Office from the multitude of other lawyers is the genuine expressions of concern and the desire Bill Adler conveyed to me to do their best to help me. I felt an immediate connection and instantly realized I had made the correct choice in contacting Jim Adler & Associates to handle my case. One thing I think lawyers and police officers can agree on is the proverbial wheels of justice turn very slowly. Months go by and our professional relationship is never neglected. Through the unwavering attention of Iris Sanchez and Bill Adler himself, I never felt "out of the loop" so to speak and always had a clear understanding of where my case was at in regards to the legal process. In conclusion, I know my brief description of my experiences with Bill Adler and, his assistant Iris Sanchez, cannot provide the credit they deserve. Together they have done an outstanding job representing their firm/employer. If you are seeking a great firm to represent your legal interests and, take comfort in establishing a professional relationship that feels more like a friendship than a casual business acquaintance, then I highly suggest Jim Adler & Associates.read more
Erick Becker
Erick Becker
01:20 06 May 17
I am very happy with Jim Adler & Associates. I did not know anyone who has ever used the Law Firm before. The staff is very friendly and treated me as if I were family. At times it got very stressful being without a job. They helped me when I was confused about the process. Mrs. Theresa Rodriguez stayed in contact with me constantly. Checking on me to see how I was doing and to let me know how things were going on there end. The Attorneys that handled my case know exactly what they are doing to take good care of me. Thank You so much Attorney's Mr.Michael Gomez and Mr.Trey Smith.read more
Bernard Orozco
Bernard Orozco
17:16 23 Feb 17
Jim Adler only offer nothing less than a great experience. They are a very well-established organization. They are outstanding on keeping you up to date with cases. There's no beating around the bush with this organization as they are only straight forward with the whole process. They treat their customers like family as well as go above and beyond to fight cases for you only leaving you with nothing but the best experience. Easy 5-star rated organization. I would highly recommend this one organization you not look over.read more
Lorenzo Preston
Lorenzo Preston
17:23 26 Jan 17
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