Teen Driving Accidents
Los Angeles Teen Driving Accident Attorneys
The excitement of obtaining a driver’s license can quickly fade when a teenager is involved in a car accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for young drivers. Teen driving accidents can also cause serious injuries to other drivers. It is worth noting that the parents of teenagers can be held responsible for injuries caused by their sons or daughters. Nonetheless, these claims are complicated, which makes having the guidance an accomplished attorney invaluable.
The car accident attorneys at J&Y Law Firm are highly experienced in handling teen driving accident cases. We are well versed in the laws applicable to teen driving accidents in Northern and Southern California. Our legal team has a proven track record of achieving successful outcomes for our clients.
There are a number of factors involved in teen driving accidents. First, teenagers are at a higher risk of being involved in accidents due to their lack of driving experience. They are also more likely to underestimate dangerous situations than older drivers. Finally, teens often make critical decision errors that lead to crashes, such as speeding and allowing shorter driving distances with vehicles traveling ahead. Some of the leading causes of teen driving accidents include:
- Speeding and Reckless Driving – Speeding is a traffic violation in California that may result in fines, points on a driver’s license, and license suspension. In addition, driving above a certain number of miles per hour over a posted speed limit can be charged as reckless driving. Teen drivers who speed are more at risk of being involved in a car accident because of their inexperience.
- Driving Under the Influence – Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or prescription medications is dangerous for all drivers, and even more so for teens. In most states, it is unlawful for minors to drive with any detectable level of alcohol in their bloodstream. Nonetheless, drunk and drugged driving are common causes of teen driving accidents.
- Texting and Driving – Most teens today rely heavily on their smartphones and often text while driving. This is extremely dangerous and often leads to accidents, resulting in serious injuries and fatalities. This is why it is illegal to send and receive text messages while operating a motor vehicle in California.
Parental Liability In California
In California, a parent or legal guardian is required to sign a consent form to allow children under the age of 18 to drive. By doing so, they assume liability for any accidents that their teen drivers cause. This is referred to as parental liability. Parents are released from liability once their children turn 18. Parents can also withdraw their consent at any time, however, their teenager will immediately lose his or her driving privileges.
Parents who loan their cars to teenagers may also be held liable under the legal doctrine of vicarious liability. This principle applies when a driver causes an accident while driving another person’s car. Parents can also be held liable under the theory of negligent entrustment when teens with a history of DUI or known alcohol and drug problems cause accidents.
Recovering Damages in a Teen Driving Accident
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by a teen driver, you may be entitled to compensation. In order to have a valid claim, you must be able to prove that the teen driver’s negligence or recklessness caused the accident that resulted in your injuries. Examples of negligence include speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, distracted driving – talking or texting, reckless driving, improper turning, or failing to obey traffic signals.
Preventing Teen Driver Accidents
Parents have a responsibility to determine whether or not their teens are prepared to handle the risks and responsibilities of driving. Moreover, once their children start driving, parents need to set strict ground rules. This includes a ban on drinking and driving and nighttime driving. Teens must also be reminded to always wear a seatbelt. Finally, parents should inform their children of the common causes of teen driving accidents:
- Driver inexperience
- Impaired driving
- Speeding/reckless driving
- Talking or texting on cell phones
- Fatigued driving
- Driving with teen passengers
- Diving at night
- Failing to use seatbelts
Experienced Teen Driving Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident that was caused by a teen driver, we can help. The legal team at J&Y Law Firm will work tirelessly to help you obtain meaningful compensation. We believe that no one should be forced to suffer due to the negligence of a teen driver. It is possible to hold parents accountable by pursuing a personal injury claim. You may be able to recover damages for lost wages, past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses. Call our office or complete the contact form on our website to set up a consultation.