Depending on the circumstances, an injured victim can often sue the parent of a teen driver who causes a collision. For example, in an accident involving a reckless or negligent minor who is under 18, the parent or legal guardian will typically be responsible for accident-related damages. This is due to the principle of vicarious liability.
However, the laws regarding liability vary from state to state, and certain limitations may apply. Contact our Atlanta car accident law firm now for a free, no-obligation consultation, or keep reading to learn more about pursuing a personal injury lawsuit after a collision with a teen driver.
Risks Associated with Teen Drivers
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teenage drivers are almost three times more likely to cause an accident than adults aged 20 and above. One of the most significant factors contributing to this increased risk is inexperience.
Even when teenagers behave responsibly behind the wheel, they have a heightened risk of accidents. Teens just haven’t had the years of driving practice that older individuals have had, and as a result, they may struggle with handling various driving scenarios and emergencies.
If you or a loved one has sustained injuries in such an incident, consulting with an experienced car accident attorney is crucial to ensuring your rights are protected.
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Specific Reasons Why a Parent Might Be Liable
When a teenager causes a car accident, the responsibility for the other party’s injuries and damages falls on them as the driver of the vehicle. However, the teen driver’s parents or guardians may also be held responsible for the accident under certain circumstances.
Specific reasons a parent might be sued include:
- Allowing an unlicensed teen to drive: If parents knowingly allow their teenager to drive without a license, they can be liable for any damage the teen causes.
- Negligent entrustment: If parents allow a reckless teenager or one with known driving issues to use the family vehicle, they may be liable for negligent entrustment.
- Not ensuring the vehicle is safe: Allowing a teen to drive an unsafe vehicle that then contributes to an accident can make parents liable.
Our experienced car accident lawyers can investigate your case to determine whether a parent’s actions or inaction contributed to a collision that their child caused.
For example, if the parents knew or should have known that their child was not a safe driver, they may be held responsible for the accident. Additionally, if the parents own the car that the teen was driving, they may be held liable based on that.
Limitations on Parental Liability
In certain states, including Georgia, specific regulations govern the liability of parents for the actions of their minor children. This liability encompasses bodily injuries and property damage.
Under Georgia Code § 51-2-3, a parent’s liability for their minor child’s actions is subject to a capped limit of $10,000, along with court costs awarded to the injured party who initiated the legal proceedings. That said, the parents could also be held responsible for their own negligence in the situation.
When one of our attorneys handles your case, they typically start by pursuing an insurance claim, which could yield far more than $10,000. Please keep in mind that every case is different, and the compensation you are entitled to will depend on factors like the extent of your injuries.
Navigating the Complexities of a Teen Driving Accident Case
You shouldn’t have to shoulder the financial burdens resulting from another driver’s negligence. In legal terms, negligence signifies a failure to exercise the necessary care toward others, and you have the right to seek compensation for the consequences of a negligent driver’s actions through a personal injury claim.
However, dealing with insurance companies can be tricky. The at-fault driver’s insurance company may employ a range of tactics, including the following:
- Questioning the severity of your injuries
- Attempting to use your statements against you
- Offering settlements well below what you rightfully deserve
- Challenging the specifics of your case
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your accident, we urge you to reach out to us today. By contacting us for a free case evaluation, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss the details of your accident and explore how our legal team can assist you.
Contact Us for a Risk-Free Legal Consultation
If you were injured in an accident through no fault of your own, it’s important to understand your options. At John Foy & Associates, we are dedicated to advocating for you and your family during this challenging time. An attorney from our firm could gather evidence, build a strong case, and fight for a fair settlement or court award on your behalf.
We operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning you won’t owe us anything unless we successfully secure compensation for you. Take the first step toward justice with a free consultation.
Reach out to us today via phone or our online contact form.