Safe driving is a skill that requires time and practice to master. Inexperienced drivers have not had the opportunity to develop their skills, and not surprisingly, teenage drivers are far more likely to be in accidents and to be at fault for causing them.
If you were injured in a teen driving car accident in Corona, the teen’s parents might be liable for your damages. You could get reimbursement for your medical expenses and lost time at work, pain and suffering, and any ongoing costs associated with your injuries. Contact a skilled car accident attorney for advice about how best to proceed.
Who is Responsible After an Accident?
All California drivers must have liability insurance. When that driver causes an accident, their insurance pays the damages of anyone who suffers losses in the crash. If the available insurance coverage is inadequate to pay all an injured person’s damages, the at-fault driver is personally liable. A legal professional might have to file a personal injury lawsuit to collect the damages.
If the at-fault driver has limited personal assets, plaintiff might not be able to collect sufficient damages to cover his or her losses. This might often be the case with teen drivers, but fortunately there is a law that makes parents responsible for the consequences of a teen driver’s actions.
Ways to Hold Parents Responsible for a Teen’s Crash
Children aged 15 years and six months old may apply for a permit to drive, but if they are under 18 a parent must sign the application. By signing the application, the parent agrees to be responsible for any losses the teen causes while operating a motor vehicle. California Vehicle Code § 17707 makes parents strictly liable for any losses to others that their minor child causes while driving. The claimant does need not need to prove the parents were negligent in any way.
If the teen is over 18 and has a standard driver’s license, their parents are no longer automatically responsible for the child’s actions while driving. However, if the teen’s vehicle was registered to a parent, an injured person could hold the parent responsible through the theory of vicarious liability.
It could be possible to hold parents responsible for a teen driving car crash in Corona under a negligence theory if a child has a history of poor impulse control, recklessness, alcohol or drug use, or other issues that might impact their ability to drive responsibly. The plaintiff must prove that the parent knew or should have known that the child had issues that might interfere with his or her ability to safely operate a motor vehicle without supervision.
Legal Challenges During a Civil Claim
The statute of limitations for pursuing injury claims after a vehicle accident is two years from the date of injury. However, it is unwise to wait before securing legal representation.
The law requires all parties to an accident pay a share of an injured person’s damages proportional to his or her degree of fault. If the injured person’s conduct was a factor in the accident, it is in the best interest of other parties to find evidence that might indicate the injured person bears a large portion of the fault. The more fault attributed to the claimant, the smaller the portion of damages others will have to pay.
The insurance company for the teen driver’s parents will likely begin collecting evidence pointing toward the claimant’s negligence immediately after the accident. A Corona resident who sustained injuries in a teen driver car accident should have their own representative collecting evidence to show that the claimant’s negligence was minimal compared with that of other parties.
Get Justice After a Teen Driver Car Accident with a Corona Attorney
Managing the physical, emotional, and financial impact of a motor vehicle accident is always difficult. When an inexperienced driver was at fault, the process becomes even more complex and contentious. If you were hurt in a teen driving car accident in Corona, you could rely on a local attorney to steer the process of pursuing compensation. Doing so will allow you to relax and focus on your recovery. Reach out now to schedule a meeting to review your case.