A new bill that would limit the liability imputed to a parent or other adult sponsor of a minor’s driver’s license was reviewed during a public hearing in the Assembly Committee on the Judiciary this week.
Assembly Bill 540/Senate Bill 408, which was introduced by Senator Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) and Representative Mike Kuglitsch (R-New Berlin), would amend current law that imputes unlimited liability to parents or adult sponsors of a minor’s driver’s license.
AB 540/SB 408 would limit the liability imputed to a parent or other adult sponsor to the greater of $300,000 or the limits of any insurance coverage provided to the minor under the parent or adult sponsor’s applicable insurance policies, whichever is greater.
Wisconsin already has a $5,000 limit on liability imputed to a parent “for personal injury attributable to a willful, malicious, or wanton act of the child.” Yet, if a child negligently causes a car accident, the parent or other adult sponsor faces unlimited liability.
In the United States, 27 states do not have a statute imputing such liability to a parent or other adult sponsor. Of the remaining 23 states which have a statute that imputes liability, 14 of those states do not impute any liability to the parent or other adult sponsor if the minor has liability insurance at the state required minimums.
The Assembly Committee on the Judiciary held a public hearing for this bill on December 10. The Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety will hold a hearing on December 16.