Parents Can Be Liable if Their Child Teen Driver Causes Road Accident

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As many as 2,433 teens were killed in the U.S. and 292,742 were treated in the ER for injuries as a result of motor vehicle crashes in 2016. The first 18 months after teens get their license are the most dangerous, as they are four times more likely to get into a road accident during that time. Regardless of how careful they think they are on the road, all young people begin as inexperienced drivers that have to learn to deal with the many distractions that come with driving. If you are the parent of a licensed driver under the age of 18, you could find yourself liable for any injuries or losses that occur from an accident they’ve caused.

Risk Factor of Young Drivers

The more experienced and comfortable young drivers become behind the wheel, the more likely they are to engage in risky behaviors that can see them involved in a crash where they could get killed, injured, or total the car. The car they drive can help to either reduce or contribute to this risk. An inexperienced driver is more likely to crash if they are driving a large, heavy and powerful car. However, many of today’s cars now come with top-of-the-line safety features such as accident prevention and protection technologies and even features that enable parents to track new drivers. While this technology can help to protect teen drivers, it can also help them to develop safer driving skills.

Vehicles, Teens And Parents’ Liability

There are a number of legal policies that might mean you are liable for vehicle damage and car accident injuries caused by your child’s driving as their parent. Each U.S. state has its own laws to deal with parent liability for the negligent driving of their children. You should get advice from an attorney if your child has been involved in an auto accident. They will be able to let you know whether you are liable and what your rights are. On your behalf, they will gather evidence, interview witnesses and negotiate with insurance agencies and advocate for you in court if required.

Failure To Supervise And Parental Negligence

A parent can be liable if they were found to have been negligent in failing to adequately supervise their child which resulted in them taking actions that caused injury. The injury has to have been a foreseeable consequence of the parent failing to control their child such as leave the keys in the car with an unlicensed driver who had previously attempted to drive the car. If a parent allowed their child to drive a vehicle who they knew was either reckless or incompetent to drive, they could be found to negligent. A parent can also be held responsible if the driver, their child, was using the vehicle for a family purpose with parent consent.

When your child first gets behind the wheel, your first concern is likely to be their safety. But you should also remember that you could be liable if they were to cause an accident on the road as a result of their driving. That’s why it’s so important to ensure your child understands how to keep themselves and other road users safe.

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