Before your teen driver sets out behind the wheel, it’s essential to talk with them about the risks associated with teen driving. Talking with your teen about the leading causes of car accidents among teen drivers can help them make better decisions when they buckle up. But even then, auto accidents are somehow bound to occur. Now what?
Both auto insurance companies and California car accident attorneys advise that well-prepared teen drivers are educated not only in safe driving habits but also regarding necessary procedures if involved in a car accident.
What Should Teen Drivers do in Car Accidents?
- Remain Calm. Fear, worry, and anger lead to poor decision making and confusion about critical next steps.
- Put on your hazard lights. Hazard lights alert other drivers to the accident and warn them of a slow down or obstruction in traffic.
- Pull your vehicle to the side of the road. When safe to do so, move your car to the side of the road, out of the roadway to safety.
- Call 911. Cooperate fully with law enforcement. A complete police report will capture important details regarding the nature of the incident, and maybe needed in event of a lawsuit or disputed insurance claim.
- Remain on the scene. Accidents can create fear and a desire to flee the scene. Remain with your vehicle and wait for police and emergency help to arrive.
- Do not admit fault. At no time should you admit fault or express an apology, which could imply guilt. Stating or implying responsibility might escalate tensions at the scene, and could be used against you when settling insurance or personal injury claims.
- Document evidence. Using your smartphone or notepad, document every element of the accident. Take photos and be detailed in your notes. Only take photos when conditions are safe and without causing additional injury to yourself or others.
- Time, date, location
- Weather conditions
- Vehicle description/license plate information
- Demeanor/behavior of other driver and passengers
- Damages to both vehicles
- Injuries to you, the other party, and any passengers or bystanders
- Exchange information. Exchange driver’s license and insurance information with the other driver.
- Seek additional medical services. Sometimes injuries sustained during a car accident are not noticeable at the time of the incident. Seeking follow-up medical care is in safe-guarding your health.
- Contact your insurance company. There are often time restrictions on claims filings. Report your accident to your auto insurance company sooner than later to avoid being timed-out of filing a claim.
- Contact your California personal injury attorney. You may find yourself on the receiving end of a lawsuit, or have grounds to file one yourself. The earlier you are in communication with your injury attorney, the better positioned they are to help you.
- Avoid speaking to the other party’s insurance agent or attorney directly. Anything you say may be used against you. If you are contacted by any representative of the other party or the other party directly, contact your personal injury attorney to act on your behalf.
How Can a California Personal Injury Attorney Help Your Teen Driver?
No matter how aware your teen driver may be, they run the risk of being involved in a car accident. Whether personally at fault or on the receiving end of another driver’s negligence, experienced legal help may be necessary. Contact us today. Our California personal injury attorneys will work to protect your teen’s financial and physical recovery after an auto accident. Following the steps outlined above offers your teen and car accident attorney the confidence of secure footing moving forward.