Being hit by another car can happen at any time and in any place. What happens if someone hits you in a car accident leaving you with property damage and increasing medical bills? What if the person driving happens to be a young driver with no assets?
In South Carolina, the Family Purpose Doctrine defines this scenario. When the head of the family provides and maintains a car for the everyday use of his family, he becomes responsible for the negligence of someone within the family driving that car.
Therefore, if a child is driving the car provided for family use, and is involved in an accident, the liability rests on the parent. If the car was not provided for the convenience of the family, there is no relationship that puts liability on the parent.
The necessary condition for liability is that the head of the family provided that car for general family use. If the head of the family does not "own, maintain, or furnish" the car for general family use, he is not liable.
If you purchase a vehicle for your family members, please make sure you have plenty of liability coverage to protect your assets in the event a family member negligently causes injuries to another.