Teenagers are incredibly vulnerable on the road. According to the CDC, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 16 and 19. Hundreds of thousands of teenagers require emergency care annually as a result of vehicular accidents.
In addition to the concerns about injury, teenagers may also face legal and insurance problems as a result of an accident. Sometimes, parents may also be held responsible for what their teens do on the road.
In the aftermath of an accident involving a teenaged driver, here are five questions parents should ask an accident lawyer:
1) Whose vehicle were they driving? Was it your vehicle, or theirs? Whose insurance covers the vehicle?
2) Were they performing some kind of errand on your behalf, with your permission? Were they carrying out work for you? If the accident took place when your teenager was doing something for you, you may also be held liable.
3) Did they have your permission to use the vehicle? If they snuck out of the house with your car, maybe you won’t be held responsible.
4) Did they require supervision when driving? For example, teenagers using a learner’s permit need to have responsible adult supervision when they drive. However, they may have driven without any adult in the car, or with an adult who isn’t old enough to supervise someone with a learner’s permit. Another possibility is that the supervising adult was irresponsible in some way, perhaps intoxicated or inattentive.
5) Who was actually responsible for the crash? Teenaged drivers get a lot of flak for being inexperienced and impulsive on the road, but that doesn’t mean that every crash is their responsibility (in whole or part).
Don’t hesitate to contact an experienced attorney in the aftermath of crash involving your teenager. Your attorney will act as your adviser and as your legal advocate, fighting insurance companies and civil court for fair treatment for you and your teen.