Driver Liability With A Minor Driver
Car Accident Lawyer
Being involved in a car accident is already confusing, scary, and traumatic. However, when you step out of your car after the accident just to find out that the other driver is a teenager, you may be wondering what your options are. Who do you file a complaint with? Are you filing against the child or the parent? It can be a truly confusing situation for the parents involved too. Whether the child had permission or not to take the car, they may now be on the hook for their kid causing an accident. It is important to know what you should do following an accident that a minor child caused.
Immediately Following the Accident
You want to treat this as you would any other car accident.
- Assess the damage. This goes for you and your car. Check yourself for injuries and see if there is any obvious damage to your vehicle.
- Exchange information. Speak with the other driver. Although it can be especially frustrating to see a minor behind the wheel because you may be thinking they are especially reckless, remember that getting angry and yelling will not do you or your claim any favors. If possible, understand that they are likely very shaken up too. Remain calm, exchange your contact information and insurance information, and move on.
- Call local authorities. If necessary–there are injuries, casualties, or serious vehicle damage–call the local authorities to the scene. This can help to obtain a police report for your claim and it can also ensure emergency services are contacted if necessary.
- Speak with your lawyer. There are mixed feelings when a person is injured in a car accident involving a teenager. They may feel bad that filing a claim could in some way ruin the teen’s life. On the other hand, a person may feel especially upset that the teen was allowed to drive so carelessly on the road. However you are feeling, understand that speaking with your lawyer, like a car accident lawyer from a law firm like Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC will allow you to make the best next steps.
- Understand what might happen next. Depending on your state, the teen driver or the parent may be held liable for the car accident. The parents of the driver should have placed their minor child on their car insurance or a separate car insurance policy. In some states, parents must be prepared to be found liable if their child caused a car accident to occur. Know that this can make things more difficult when you file a car accident claim.
Can these cases be complicated?
Being involved in a car accident with a teen driver does add a layer of complexity to the situation. There may be a question of what type of insurance the teen driver was under, who owned the vehicle that hit you, how many insurance policies are present in your claim, and more. Because these claims can be especially complicated, it is crucial that you speak with a lawyer to determine how you should proceed. For more information, please consider reaching out to your local law firm today.