Help Your Teen Drivers Learn What To Do After A Car Accident

by Mar 18, 2021Auto Accident, Car Accidents

Help Your Teen Drivers Learn What To Do After A Car Accident

by Mar 18, 2021Auto Accident, Car Accidents

Learn What To Do After A Car Accident
Learn What To Do After A Car Accident

It’s Important For Teen Drivers To Know What To Do After A Car Accident

Not surprisingly, some teen drivers lack the experience needed to handle particular traffic and road conditions. In many cases, they may prove more likely to be distracted or less likely to exercise judgment. Indeed, drivers aged 16 to 19 stand a three times greater chance than motorists beyond the teen years to die in a motor vehicle crash.

However, youth does not automatically make your teen at fault in a car accident. Your son or daughter may be entitled to compensation for injuries, pain and suffering, lost wages, and lost earning capacity. Knowing what to do after a car accident can help your teen and you get compensation for car damages and personal injuries. Below, we offer some issues to address with your teen when it comes to dealing with a car accident.

Don’t Leave The Accident Scene

Drivers may not leave the scene of a wreck. Instead, your teen should await the police or highway patrol. In fact, the cars should (if it can be done safely) remain as they are until a police officer instructs your teen to move them.

Waiting on the officer before moving cars (if possible) allows a person not involved in the wreck to observe the condition and position of the vehicles. This helps the officer determine the cause of the wreck and whether the drivers or witnesses have reliable statements. However, your teen may and perhaps should move a car if necessary to keep your teen or others safe.

When to Speak — and Remain Silent

As do adults, teens have a tendency to say “I’m sorry” or otherwise express regret. While it might sound courteous, such an apology may have the appearance of an admission of fault. The other drivers involved may try to deflect their own carelessness by saying your teen driver accepted responsibility.

The other driver may assert authority he or she actually does not have over your son or daughter. Your young ones have no duty to say anything to the others involved. Threats by the other drivers or their associates should ring hollow. Only the police officers have authority in getting statements and investigating the wreck. That does not mean your teen should make incriminating statements to the officers. If possible, get your teen to wait for your arrival at the scene before the teen speaks to law enforcement.

Avoid Social Media

In 2019, a reported 3,142 people died in crashes involving distracted driving. Nearly one out of 11 teen fatalities in 2018 resulted from an incident of distracted driving. The viewing or sending of social media posts and texts for even a moment can cause a serious or even fatal crash. Those who text while driving double their risk of crashing. Help your teen realize that taking your eyes off the road for even five seconds to view your phone translates to driving 360 feet or 120 yards — the length of a football field — without watching the road.

Clearly, teens should be instructed before driving to not use smartphones. As the statistics above explain, it is illegal and dangerous. Your teen likely will not be able to hide his or her use of a smartphone while driving. In a legal proceeding, the opposing party’s lawyer (i.e. the insurance defense lawyer) can request your son or daughter’s texts and posts around and at the time of the crash. By examining the time shown for the posts, the opposing lawyer may show that your teen was distracted at the time of the crash.

Smartphone use after the crash may prove unwise as well. Posting photographs or messages about the accident creates statements that the other driver or the driver’s insurance company can use against your teen. The fact that Facebook, Twitter or Instagram posts elicit responses magnifies the risk that your teen will say something to minimize their injuries or even admit fault.

Getting Insurance Information

Your teen should not avoid all interactions with the other driver. To that end, you and your teen should get ownership, registration, and insurance information from the other driver.

Florida law requires you to carry no-fault insurance on your vehicle. However, this insurance only pays for medical expenses. To seek pain and suffering and other non-economic damages for your teen, you must resort to the other driver’s liability insurance. A personal injury lawyer helps you pursue compensation for these injuries against the at-fault driver’s insurance. If that pool is not deep enough or its non-existence, you can proceed under your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage on your vehicle.

Getting Pictures and Videos of the Crash

Inform your teen of the value of photographs and videos. Images of the crash scene can illustrate what happened. This becomes very important as memories fade or as teens may lack the experience to adequately explain the crash.

Tell your teen to photograph or video the vehicles. The impact points of the vehicle show whether your teen was “t-boned” or rear-ended. In the latter type of collision, a presumption arises that the other driver failed to keep a proper lookout. Videos or photographs can also help show the force of the collision and corroborate the severity of injuries.

Along with those of the vehicles, photographs or images should show the area of the crash, including the intersection, streets, nearby buildings, and stop lights or signs.

Do Not Unnecessarily Minimize Injuries

Tell your son or daughter to get attention from the paramedics if there exists a chance he or she was hurt. Paramedics make the initial records of injuries or the condition of those involved in the crash. For your teen’s own health, encourage them to be fully examined and to accept the advice to go to the hospital.

Many victims who do not know what to do after a car accident (those in youth and adulthood alike) may utter things such as they are “not hurt” or they “feel fine.” These expressions seem to be good-faith attempts to avoid conflict with the other driver. However, an insurance defense lawyer may use your teen’s words to contest later claims of pain, suffering, and medical expenses.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

The successful pursuit of personal injury claims means that both you and your teen need to know what to do after a car accident. As part of dealing with the crash, seek the assistance of an experienced car accident lawyer. You will get help gathering medical records and evidence of the crash and injuries. You will also have an advocate to negotiate with the insurance company or file a lawsuit for your teen to get compensation for his or her damages.

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