Your Teen Driver And Liability: Who Is Responsible For An Accident?

When it comes to motor vehicle operation, one of the riskiest categories of drivers are teenagers. Since teens do not have fully mature neuroactivity, which can sometimes lead to the inability to react properly in the event of a car crash. This is why parents often face much higher insurance premiums for their kids. It also means that the parents are responsible for any damages caused by their teen drivers. The following is some important information all parents need to know when their teens begin to drive and how to react if they cause an accident:

No Special Exceptions for Teen Drivers

One thing parents need to be acutely aware of is the fact that teens have no special privileges if they cause an accident while driving. Teenagers are required to abide by all laws of the road as everyone else. If a teenager decides to usurp the law and drive in a reckless manner that results in an injury to someone else, both the teen and his or her parents are responsible for paying the damages.

Not only will you possibly face paying for medical bills and damages to personal property, you can also be sued for pain and suffering as well as lost income on behalf of the victim. You can also face higher insurance premiums and possible penalties.

Laws Governing Liability for Parents and Guardians of Teens

In almost all states, there are liability laws that will hold the parent and guardian responsible for the actions of the teen. The liability begins very early on in the life of a teenaged driver. Once the teen begins to drive and obtain a driver's license, this liability law automatically kicks in.

However, there is one way to possibly avoid any liability. In most states, if you do not have full-time contact with the child and can therefore not closely supervise the teen, you may have an out concerning full liability.

The Parent's Role in an Accident

While the parent may not have had a hand in the actual accident, he or she still has a role in the outcome. For instance, if you know that your child is not able to drive in heavy traffic or cannot safely drive after dark, you bear some responsibility for allowing the teen access to the vehicle. Because of this, you know the risk that is present to other drivers on the roadway and therefore making you partially responsible for the accident.

Contact a local car accident attorney for more information and assistance.