Filing a Claim for an Accident Caused by a Teen Driver

teen driver liabilityThere are about 13.2 million teen drivers on the road every day, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). What happens when one of those teens is responsible for a motor vehicle accident resulting in injuries to you or a loved one?

Call a Charleston car accident lawyer if you were involved in an accident with a teen driver to learn about your potential legal options. Below, we discuss some of the ways the teenage driver or his or her parent may be held liable for your damages.

Parental Liability  

Almost every single state has parental liability laws in case their child causes death, injuries, property damage through negligent or willful acts that bring harm to others. Parents and any legal guardians who have custody of a minor may be held financially responsible for damages caused by the minor, including damages from a car accident.

If a teen driver is responsible for the accident that caused your injuries, you may have legal recourse to pursue compensation from the teen’s parents. This usually means filing a claim against the parent or legal guardian’s car insurance policy.

Teenagers usually cannot afford car insurance, which is why they are often on their parents’ plans. However, most insurance companies require that anyone residing in the same household who has a license is listed under the homeowner’s motor vehicle insurance policy.

It is important to note that car insurance typically follows the car. Even if the teenager was not listed on the policy, if the car is owned and insured by the parent, the parent’s liability insurance likely applies.

What if the Teenager was Driving a Car Not Owned by His or Her Parents?

This could be a much more complicated situation. For example, maybe the teenager was driving a car loaned to the parents by someone else. If the teenager had permission to drive the car, the insurance on the car likely applies. However, if the teenager did not have permission, such as if the teenager’s parents told him or her not to drive the car, liability insurance on the car may not apply.

What About Willful or Malicious Actions?

It is important to note insurance policies often have exclusions for willful or malicious actions. If the teenager’s actions were intentional, insurance on the car may not apply. In these situations, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit.

Tips to Help Keep Your Own Teen Driver Safe

According to an NHTSA study, about 33 percent of high school students nationwide admitted to texting and driving while 12 percent of distracted drivers involved in fatal car accidents were teens aged 15 to 19.

Statistics like these may have a sobering effect on parents who have children on the verge of getting a driver’s license. These statistics also highlight how important it is to discuss road safety with your teen as early as possible.

There are also some practical things you can do to help keep your teen driver safe:

  • Talk to them about the dangers of distracted driving
  • Show them data about teen drivers in the U.S.
  • Lead by example and be a safe driver 

Let Us Help. Call Today

Teen drivers cause thousands of accidents resulting in all sorts of injuries. If you or a loved one were injured due to a teenager’s negligent driving, you may be eligible to seek compensation from the liability insurance under the parent’s car insurance policy.

Let our attorneys at Roden Law help you through this complicated process while you focus on recovering from your injuries. We have successfully recovered millions in compensation for injury victims since 2013.

If you choose to hire us, the consultation is free, and you do not owe us anything unless we recover compensation on your behalf.