Teen drivers have minimal experience with driving and are likelier to engage in risk-taking behaviors. These and other factors combine to make it much more likely that teens will be involved in accidents than people who are older. If you are involved in an accident with a teen driver, it is important for you to talk to an experienced attorney in San Jose at our law firm. These accidents have some unique liability issues that we can help you to navigate.
How often do teens get into accidents?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that teens between the ages of 16 and 19 are three times likelier to be involved in accidents than are older drivers. Males who are between the ages of 16 and 19 are two times as likely as females to die in car crashes. In 2015, 235,845 teens ages 16 to 19 were treated in the emergency department for car accident injuries, and 2,333 were killed.
What are the common reasons that teens get into accidents?
Teen drivers are more likely to get into accidents than older drivers because of the following reasons:
• Driver inexperience
• Drinking and driving
• Distracted driving
• Reckless driving
• Driving with other teens in the car
• Not wearing seat belts
• Risk-taking behavior
What to do if you are involved in an accident with a teen driver
If you are involved in an accident with a teen driver, you should check everyone for injuries. Keep in mind that the teen driver might be scared and is still a child. Call the police, and wait at the scene of the accident. If you can, take pictures of both vehicles and the scene with your smartphone camera. Write down the license plate, make and model of the teen’s vehicle, and ask him or her for his license and insurance information. Try to get the name and contact information for the teen’s parents, and encourage the teen to call them. When the police arrive, tell them what happened. You should seek medical attention even if you are unsure if you have been injured. Some injuries do not show symptoms for days after an accident. By getting prompt treatment, you might speed your recovery and be able to show a clear link between the accident and your injuries.
How to take legal action if you were injured by a teen driver
Parents of teens who are younger than 18 have to sign a consent form for their teens to get a license to drive. If you are injured in an accident that was caused by a driver who was younger than 18, you may file a lawsuit against the parents. The parents may also be vicariously liable for their teens’ accidents if they loaned the teens their own vehicles and had a reason to know that their teens had the propensity to drive in a manner that could cause an accident. In addition to the parents, you can name the teenager who caused your accident as a defendant in a lawsuit by naming him or her directly. You should contact an attorney for help in determining who should be named as a defendant in your lawsuit.
When you should contact a teen driving accident lawyer in San Jose
California has a two-year statute of limitations. This means that you cannot file a lawsuit if two or more years have elapsed since your accident. It is better for you to reach out to a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident so that he or she will have enough time to investigate your claim and to file a lawsuit for you. Contact an experienced teen driving accident lawyer in San Jose today by calling our firm.