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Filing a Claim for an Accident Caused by a Teen Driver

Filing a Claim for an Accident Caused by a Teen Driver

By
Abasi Major
January 11, 2023

Filing a car accident claim when the driver is a teen can be overwhelming and difficult to navigate. For parents of teen drivers, understanding the nuances of such a claim can be challenging, especially if you are not familiar with insurance policies and claims processes.

This article aims to provide helpful information on filing a claim after an accident involving a teenage driver, including information on liability and coverage and more.

Common Accidents Caused by Teen Drivers

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among teens in the United States. Most teen driver crashes occur due to inexperience, risk-taking behavior, distraction, and poor decision-making.

  • Distracted Driving - According to the AAA, 62% of teen drivers admit to talking on the phone while driving, and 43% of teens admit to texting and driving. In addition, distractions from conversations with passengers increase crash rates fourfold among teen drivers. 
  • Speeding - According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speed is a factor in one-third of all fatal crashes involving young drivers. 
  • Impaired Driving - According to the CDC, 28% of teens involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes had been drinking before the crash occurred.

Who is Liable When a Minor is At Fault for a Crash?

Depending on the age of the minor involved in a car crash, they might be held liable or not. If the minor is under 18 years old, then they are generally considered too young to be held responsible for their actions and will likely not face any legal repercussions. 

However, if the minor is over 18, they may still be held accountable for their actions and could face both civil and criminal liability. 

When are the Minor’s Parents Liable? 

In some cases, the parents or guardians of a minor may also be held liable for a car crash in San Antonio TX, even if the accident was caused by the minor's own negligence. This is especially true if the parent or guardian allowed their child to drive without proper supervision or without a legal license.

Parental Responsibility

Depending on the age of the minor, the law holds parents and guardians responsible for any damages that may be caused due to negligence or misconduct. This means that if a minor causes an accident, his/her parent or guardian can be held liable for any resulting loss, damage, or injury. 

In some cases, the parent or guardian may even be subject to criminal charges for failing to adequately supervise a minor.

Family Purpose Doctrine 

The Family Purpose Doctrine holds the owner of a vehicle responsible in certain cases if their child or family member causes an accident while driving their car. This doctrine is most commonly seen when minors are behind the wheel and cause an accident due to reckless behavior or negligence. 

In these instances, the insurance company will investigate each case on its own merit. The owner of the vehicle will be held responsible for damages, medical expenses, and other costs related to the accident. This is because the owner of the vehicle granted permission to a minor to drive their car, making them liable for any accidents caused by that minor.

Checking Unlicensed Driver Exclusion

Unlicensed Driver Exclusion is a clause that can be found in many car insurance policies. This exclusion prevents an insurance company from paying out a claim if the driver of the vehicle was not legally licensed at the time of the accident. 

This means that if you are involved in an accident with a minor, your insurer will not pay for any damages or injuries you have suffered. The reason behind this is that unlicensed drivers are considered to be higher risks and more likely to cause accidents, which makes them too much of a liability for an insurance company to cover.

If you find yourself in a car accident with someone who is not legally licensed, you could pursue legal action against the other driver if they are found to be at fault for the accident. This could include filing a personal injury lawsuit or a property damage claim.

Hire a Car Accident Lawyer to Help 

If you have been in a crash involving a minor driver, having the right car accident lawyer on your side is essential. A good car accident attorney in San Antonio, Texas will be able to provide guidance, advice, and representation throughout the entire legal process. Speak to our lawyers today.

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