Consumer Attorneys of California
Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles
AVVO Rating

Accidents Involving Teenage Drivers

Car accidents are caused by many different factors. As the population grows, accidents involving teenage drivers are happening more often. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are involved in more accidents each year than any other demographic. Additionally, car accidents are the leading cause of death for teen drivers. These accidents clearly result in significant injuries that can have a devastating effect on drivers and their families. As such, accidents involving teenage drivers often result in substantial medical bills, lost income, potential disability, death, and pain and suffering. The experienced attorneys at Slatter Law Firm will aggressively fight to recover the maximum compensation for your injuries.

For teenagers, a drivers license represents an ability to drive to and from school and work. Driving also grants teenagers more freedom to engage in leisure and recreational activities. However, many teenagers do not fully appreciate the responsibilities and risks of driving. In fact, their lack of driving experience is one of the leading causes for these accidents. For example, these accidents may be caused by tailgating, misunderstanding of the right of the way rules, or the drivers' miscalculation of other driver's speed. Below is a description of the other common causes for accidents involving teen drivers.

  1. Speeding- Drivers must abide by the speed limit. Many teenage drivers tend to speed, which can cause them to lose control of the car, misjudge the speeds and distance of other cars, and result in insufficient time to properly brake and avoid collision.
  2. Distracted Driving- Another common cause for these accidents is the drivers' lack of focus or attention. Driving requires focus and awareness of surroundings, including other drivers and pedestrians. Teenage drivers may become distracted through texting and other cell phone use, adjusting the radio, engaging in personal hygiene, or being distracted by other passengers.
  3. Intoxicated Driving- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not only illegal, but also very dangerous. Alcohol and drugs impair focus and reaction time, and therefore, increase the likelihood of an accident. In fact, accidents resulting in death often involve alcohol or drug intoxication by a teenage driver.

These accidents are governed by the laws of negligence. Generally, the law imposes a duty on drivers to operate their cars with care, caution, and awareness of their surroundings. Speeding, distracted driving, and intoxicated driving are breaches of this duty of care. If these failures caused your accident, the teen driver may be at-fault for your injuries.

Accidents involving teenagers raise issues regarding the parents' fault. California requires parents of teenage drivers to sign consent forms that allow teenagers to drive. In other words, parents thereby agree to accept financial responsibility for accidents caused by minors. The parents may withdraw this consent at any time, but this withdrawal cancels the teenager's driving privileges. When the teenager is no longer a minor, his or her parents are no longer liable for these accidents.

However, there are additional legal theories to hold the parents at-fault. For example, parents may be at-fault under the theory of negligent entrustment. For this claim, your accident attorney must establish that the parent(s) knew or should have known of the teenage driver's history of DUIs or alcohol or drug issues; allowed the teenager to use the vehicle, and such alcohol or drug use caused or contributed to the accident. If these elements are established, the parents are at-fault for the accident and resulting injuries. In order to maximize your compensation under various legal doctrines, it is vitally important that you hire an experienced accident attorney.

Contact Us Today

Contact a Los Angeles personal injury attorney today if you or a loved one suffered an injury from an accident involving a teenage driver. Slatter Law Firm has been helping individuals injured due to car accidents throughout Los Angeles and Southern California for over four decades. To schedule a free consultation, call our office at (310) 444-3010 or contact us online.