Teen Driving Accidents

teen driving accidents fellerman and ciarimboliGetting a driver’s license is a rite of passage for any teenager. It gives the teen a taste of adulthood and reminds the parents that their child is growing up. However, some teens abuse this privilege, resulting in serious car accidents that could change their lives forever.

If your teen is involved in a car accident, who can be held responsible for the injuries? And how does it affect the parents? What are your next steps?

At Fellerman & Ciarimboli, we understand what you and your teen are going through. As parents, we know the concern and anxiety that comes with a teen driver. Our dedicated team of Philadelphia, Wilkes-Barre, and Scranton car accident lawyers will work non-stop to make sure those responsible are held accountable for the accident, and your teen will get the help he/she needs to continue with their lives.

Teen Driving Accidents: What You Should Know

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number one cause of teen deaths is car accidents. Each day, at least six teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 die from injuries sustained after a motor vehicle accident. This age group is nearly three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than drivers over the age of 20.

Why are teens more at risk than older drivers? The most common causes of teen driving accidents include:

  • Inexperience: Teens are just starting behind the wheel, and many don’t understand the risks involved in driving a vehicle. Because of their immaturity and lack of both skills and experience, they can easily make a mistake that can cost them their lives.
  • Distracted Driving: Teens can easily be distracted while driving and it’s not just because they are using their cell phones. Other passengers can be a significant distraction — they are much more likely to pay attention to what’s going on in the car rather than what’s on the road.
  • Drunk Driving: In 2016, 15 percent of drivers between the ages of 16 and 20 involved in fatal car accidents had a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher. In fact, a recent survey found that 16.5 percent of high school students have ridden with a driver that had been drinking alcohol.
  • Speeding: According to the CDC, teens are more likely to not only speed but allow for a shorter distance between two vehicles.
  • Lack of Seat Belts: Teens have the lowest rates of seat belt use compared to other age groups. In 2017, only 59 percent of high school students said they always wear their seat belt when riding in a vehicle. 

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Am I Liable for My Teen’s Car Accident?

As a parent or guardian, could you be held responsible if your teenager causes an accident? Unfortunately, the answer to this is not a cut and dry. It all depends on a legal concept called “negligent entrustment.”

The theory states a person is responsible for an injury if that individual negligently provided another party with a dangerous instrument, and the entrusted party caused an injury with that instrument. For example, you allow a friend to use your gun, though your friend has no experience with firearms. The friend shoots your weapon, and the bullet hits someone in the leg. Because you allowed your friend to use the gun, you could be held responsible for the accident.

Since your teenager is an inexperienced driver or has gotten into several accidents, and you provided the car keys that caused a severe crash, then you may be held responsible if the accident results in an injury.

If you think you may be held liable for your teen's accident, it’s important to speak with an experienced car accident attorney in Pennsylvania right away to learn your options.

When Your Teen Driver Gets Into a Car Accident

It’s a parent’s worst nightmare – receiving a phone call that your son or daughter was involved in a car accident. If this happens to your teen, your next steps are crucial for your case.

First, it’s important to keep calm. Getting upset or angry can only make the situation worse for both yourself and those involved in the accident. Make sure your teen is aware that he/she will not get in trouble, that it’s worse not to contact you.

Find out if anyone is hurt and make sure the scene is safe. Tell your teen to put on the hazard lights and if possible, move the car to the side of the road if possible.

Once the scene is safe, make sure your teen reports the accident as soon as possible. Have your teen exchange information with the other drivers and document the scene, including photos of the damage, contact information of witnesses, and even his/her statement of what occurred.

Contact Teen Driving Accident Lawyers Fellerman & Ciarimboli Now

Getting into an auto accident at any age is a traumatic experience. Recovery could take weeks, months, and even years. If your teen was injured in a car accident, you need to speak with an experienced attorney to know what options are available.

For decades, Fellerman & Ciarimboli have helped hundreds of clients in Philadelphia, Wilkes-Barre, and Scranton with their car accident claims. Results matter. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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