Pennsylvania Teen Driving Accident Lawyers
Representing Teenage Car Accident Victims & Their Parents
Getting a driver’s license is a rite of passage for any teenager. It gives the teen a taste of adulthood and reminds the parents that their child is growing up. However, teens are not immune from being involved in car accidents. In fact, they are at a higher risk of causing or being involved in an accident due to the simple fact that they do not have as much driving experience as other motorists. And some teens abuse their driving privileges, resulting in serious car accidents that can change their lives forever.
If your teen is involved in a car accident, you probably have a lot of questions. Who can be held responsible for the injuries? And how does it affect the parents? What are your next steps?
At Fellerman & Ciarimboli Law PC, we understand what you and your teen are going through. As parents, we know the concern and anxiety that comes with a teen driver. Our dedicated team of Philadelphia, Wilkes-Barre, and Scranton car accident lawyers can work non-stop to make sure those responsible are held accountable for the accident, and your teen will get the help he/she needs to continue with their lives.
Teen Driving Accidents: What You Should Know
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number one cause of teen deaths is car accidents. Each day, at least six teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 die from injuries sustained after a motor vehicle accident. This age group is nearly three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than drivers over the age of 20.
Why are teens more at risk than older drivers? The most common causes of teen driving accidents include:
- Inexperience: Teens are just starting behind the wheel, and many don’t understand the risks involved in driving a vehicle. Because of their immaturity and lack of both skills and experience, they can easily make a mistake that can cost them their lives.
- Distracted Driving: Teens can easily be distracted while driving, and it’s not just because they are using their cell phones. Other passengers can be a significant distraction—they are much more likely to pay attention to what’s going on in the car rather than what’s on the road.
- Drunk Driving: In 2016, 15 percent of drivers between the ages of 16 and 20 involved in fatal car accidents had a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher. In fact, a recent survey found that 16.5 percent of high school students have ridden with a driver that had been drinking alcohol.
- Speeding: According to the CDC, teens are more likely to not only speed but also allow for a shorter distance between two vehicles. Both of these factors can lead to serious collisions.
- Lack of Seatbelts: Teens have the lowest rates of seatbelt use compared to other age groups. In 2017, only 59 percent of high school students said they always wear their seatbelt when riding in a vehicle.
Am I Liable for My Teen’s Car Accident?
As a parent or guardian, could you be held responsible if your teenager causes an accident? Unfortunately, the answer to this is not cut-and-dry. It all depends on a legal concept called “negligent entrustment.”
The theory of negligent entrustment states a person is responsible for an injury if that individual negligently provided another party with a dangerous instrument, and the entrusted party caused an injury with that instrument. For example, you allow a friend to use your gun, though your friend has no experience with firearms. The friend shoots your weapon, and the bullet hits someone in the leg. Because you allowed your friend to use the gun, you could be held responsible for the accident.
Since your teenager is an inexperienced driver, or if he or she has gotten into several accidents, and you provided the car keys that caused a severe crash, then you may be held responsible if the accident results in an injury.
If you think you may be held liable for your teen's accident, it’s important to speak with an experienced teen driver accident attorney in Pennsylvania right away to learn more about your rights and options.
What to Do If Your Teenager Gets into an Accident
It’s a parent’s worst nightmare—receiving a phone call that your son or daughter was involved in a car accident. If this happens to your teen, your next steps are crucial for your case.
Here’s what to do if your teenager was involved in an auto accident:
- First, it’s important to keep calm. Getting upset or angry can only make the situation worse for both yourself and those involved in the accident. Make sure your teen is aware that he/she will not get in trouble and that it’s worse to not contact you.
- Find out if anyone is hurt and make sure the scene is safe. Tell your teen to put on the hazard lights and, if possible, move the car to the side of the road.
- Once the scene is safe, make sure they report the accident as soon as possible. Have your teen exchange information with the other drivers and document the scene, including taking photos of the damage, obtaining the other driver’s insurance and contact information, and getting a statement from any witness regarding what happened.
If you are having trouble filing a claim or obtaining the rightful compensation you believe you or your teenager are owed, reach out to our Pennsylvania teen driver accident attorneys for legal guidance. We can help you understand your rights and build a case to protect them.
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Getting into an auto accident at any age is a traumatic experience. Recovery could take weeks, months, and even years. If your teen was injured in a car accident, you need to speak with an experienced attorney to know what options are available.
For decades, Fellerman & Ciarimboli Law PC has helped hundreds of clients in Philadelphia, Scranton, and Wilkes-Barre with their car accident claims. We believe that results matter, which is why we are tenacious in our pursuit of the maximum recovery our clients deserve. When an insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, we are fully prepared to take your case to trial.