It’s no secret that teen drivers have a risk of accidents. In fact, auto accidents are the leading cause of death for American teens, according to a 2012 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report. The risk of accidents is the highest among teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19, than any other age group in the United States, also according to the CDC.
With those kinds of statistics, it is understandable that you may have concerns about compensation when you are involved in an accident with an underage driver. The truth about teen driver liability is that, as licensed drivers, they are held to the same standards as other drivers on the road.
As a “fault” state, Texas drivers can file claims with their insurers as well as the teen driver’s insurers. You can file a compensation claim with the teenage motorist’s own insurer. Injured Dallas drivers can also take a claim to court to recover compensation for property damage and pain and suffering that is not covered by the other two insurance companies.
However, if the teenage motorist’s accident insurance coverage does not cover your losses in the accident, you may have to look for other sources of compensation. Consider filing a compensation claim against the parents. This doesn’t work in every case, however. Speak to a Dallas car accident lawyer to determine if the parents’ liability for teenage drivers applies to your situation.
In some cases, you may qualify for a claim against the teen’s parents. For instance, if the parent had earlier knowledge about the teenager’s reckless driving habits, and allowed the teen to drive the car anyway, you may possibly hold the parents liable.
However, proving that the parent had knowledge of the teen’s unsafe driving behavior isn’t easy. Also, to hold the parents liable in your accident, you must prove that the parent(s) gave permission to the teenager to use the car. If the teen snuck out at night and essentially “stole” the car from his or her parents then you probably can’t hold the parents liable. However, if the teen driver is underage then the parents are likely liable. Read more about car accidents with unlicensed drivers.
To identify all of your sources for compensation after an accident involving a minor driver, speak to a Dallas car accident lawyer and discuss your case. It’s important to identify whether you can recover the compensation you deserve from the teen’s insurer, or whether the parents’ insurance company will cover the damages. A lawyer will help you identify the proper avenues of compensation for you.