According to the CDC, in 2019, almost 2,400 teens in the United States aged 13–19 were killed, and about 258,000 were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes. In other words, every day, about seven teens died in fatal motor vehicle crashes, and hundreds more were injured. If you’ve been in a car accident involving a teenager, you may have several questions about what to do next, how liability works, and what parents may be responsible for.

Teen Car Accident Risks

Newly licensed teens and teens who are driving with other teenage passengers are at particular risk for car accidents. Males are also more likely to be in a fatal car accident than female teen drivers. There are several factors that come into play that put teens and other drivers at risk when on the road:

Distracted driving. Distracted driving includes any activities using electronic devices, like texting or taking videos while driving. It also includes behavior such as adjusting the sound system, eating and drinking and not paying attention to the road.

Speeding. Teens are more likely than older drivers to drive fast and speed. They also lack the experience to allow enough distance between themselves and other cars around them.

Hazardous conditions. In inclement weather, teens drivers have less experience and may not know how to adjust their driving to account for weather and road conditions such as rain, snow, construction areas, and uneven roads.

Drinking and driving. Even though the legal drinking age is 21 and drinking and driving is illegal for anyone regardless of age, almost a quarter of teens involved in fatal car accidents had been drinking.

Liability if a Teen Causes an Accident

Teen drivers have the same responsibilities on the road as adult drivers. In legal terms, teen drivers owe a duty of care to other drivers, their passengers and pedestrians on the road. This includes following all traffic and safety laws and driving safely on the road. When a teen’s negligent actions, such as speeding or driving under the influence, cause an accident, liability and who is responsible for compensating any injured victims depends on the owner of the vehicle and the insurance policies held by the car owner and you.

Are Parents Responsible for Teen Car Accidents?

New Jersey is a no-fault insurance state, which means that your own PIP insurance coverage would be the primary insurance policy initially. After exhausting your PIP benefits, if the accident was due to the teen driver's negligence, you may be able file a claim against the policy covering the at-fault driver. 

Most teens may not own their own car and may not pay for their own car insurance. In New Jersey, the car owner’s policy covers the driver of the car, so long as the owner gives permission to the driver to use the car. If the teen is driving their parents’ car, then the parents are essentially liable for any accidents, injuries and fatalities the teen causes.

What Should You Do If You Were Injured in a Car Accident Caused by a Teen Driver?

Especially in cases of serious injury, you should contact a personal injury lawyer who specializes in car accident cases. An experienced car accident attorney can build a case and advocate for fair compensation for your losses. Even if you’re only dealing with our own PIP coverage, an insurance company may be pressuring you to settle quickly or denying or devaluing your claim. A lawyer will negotiate with insurance companies and can often secure higher compensation amounts than going it alone.

Brandon J. Broderick, New Jersey Car Accident Lawyers

Working with a lawyer with extensive experience in car accidents can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Why risk being unfairly compensated and not having recourse to fix it? When you hire a car accident lawyer from Brandon J. Broderick, you are assured a passionate team fighting for your best interest and putting your needs first. We work on contingent fees that are only collected if we win your case. If we don’t win, you don’t pay.

Contact Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, for a free consultation. With our proven track record of success with car accident settlements and our commitment to client care, we can turn your setback into a comeback.

Posted by: Brandon J. Bro…
Date: Tue, 08/24/2021 - 15:52

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