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If you were injured in an accident caused by a teen driver or your teen was harmed in such an accident, you may be confused about your legal options. You might not know which driver is at fault or how to prove it. You might be worried about how you will pay your medical expenses or make up lost income. 

A Huntsville teen driver accident lawyer from Siniard Law, LLC can walk you through the legal process of seeking compensation for your or your child’s injuries. We know how confusing this process can be and can guide you through it with compassion and respect. We want to help your family recover fair compensation after someone else’s negligence injures you. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation case review. 

Common Causes of Motor Vehicle Accidents Involving Inexperienced Drivers

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers, accounting for nearly three-quarters of all teenage deaths caused by unintentional injury and one-third of all teenage deaths. Per mile driven, the crash rate for drivers ages 16 to 19 is nearly three times higher than for those aged 20 and older. Their crash rate for 16- and 17-year-olds is approximately 4.5 times higher than the rate for drivers aged 30 to 59. The crash rate for 16-year-old drivers is about 1.5 times higher than the rate for drivers aged 18 to 19. 

Many reasons contribute to why teen drivers may be more dangerous than other drivers, including: 

  • Inexperience – Driving is a skill that develops over time with practice. Most teen drivers have limited experience, especially driving under different conditions, like in heavy traffic or at night. New drivers may lead to misjudgments or errors that experience could have prevented.
  • Overconfidence – Despite their inexperience, some teen drivers are overly confident about their ability to drive. This characteristic can make them speed or take unnecessary risks while driving. 
  • Distracted driving – Teens are more likely to be distracted by cell phones and other things, compared to more experienced drivers. They are more prone to text while driving, which can significantly impact the likelihood of a motor vehicle accident. They may also be distracted by passengers, posing an additional risk for all occupants in the vehicle and other motorists. Distracted drivers have a delayed response after recognizing a hazard ahead, increasing the likelihood of an accident. 
  • Speeding – Teens’  brains are not fully developed, especially the parts that regulate emotions and decision-making. Some teens choose to speed despite knowing its dangers
  • Drunk driving – Despite its illegality, teens sometimes drink alcohol. 5.5% of youth in one study admitted to driving after drinking in one study. Drunk drivers may drift into other lanes, fall asleep behind the wheel, or cause catastrophic injuries or fatal accidents. 
  • Drowsy driving – A study by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions found that nearly 60 percent of teen drivers had fallen asleep behind the wheel. More than half of the study participants admitted to getting six hours of sleep or less per night because they stayed up late. 

These are just a few of the common causes of motor vehicle accidents that involve teenage drivers. Teen drivers are just as likely as adults to cause car accidents for other reasons, such as failing to yield the right-of-way, following too closely, or making driving errors. 

Common Auto Accident Injuries in Teen Driving Accidents

Motor vehicle crashes involving teen drivers can result in catastrophic injuries and other life-altering injuries. Some of the common types of injuries car accident victims suffer include:

Not all car accident injuries are visible injuries. For example, you or your teen may suffer PTSD, anxiety, or depression. 

Common Types of Motor Vehicle Accidents Teens Are Involved In 

Teen drivers and passengers can be involved in any type of auto accident that older occupants are involved in, but they tend to be involved in the following types of accidents at a higher rate:

  • Rear-end collisions, commonly caused by distracted driving or following too closely
  • Head-on collisions, which may be caused by impaired driving, reckless driving, wrong-way driving, or aggressive driving
  • Sideswipe accidents, which may be caused when a distracted driver drifts into an adjacent lane or fails to check their blind spot before switching lanes

How Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help My Family? 

You may be confused about your legal rights and options following a car accident involving a teenage driver. Auto accidents involving teen drivers may involve complex issues of liability and insurance coverage. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help with your insurance claim by:

  • Investigating the cause of the auto accident 
  • Identifying all parties responsible for the crash
  • Hire an accident reconstruction expert, if necessary, to establish how the accident happened
  • Building a strong claim with compelling evidence
  • Communicating with insurance adjusters and other parties on your behalf 
  • Answering any questions you have and guiding you through the entire process
  • Negotiating for maximum compensation on your behalf 

The experienced attorneys at Siniard Law, LLC can leverage their considerable knowledge and resources to fight for the financial compensation you need and deserve.

Damages Recoverable in Teen Driving Accidents 

If you suffered injuries in a traffic crash, you have the same right to file a claim for financial compensation regardless of the age of the at-fault driver. Most personal injury claims involving traffic accidents are resolved through a claim with the liable party’s insurance company. Through this type of claim, you can seek compensation for your damages, such as:

  • Medical expenses 
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Out-of-pocket expenses 
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress

If your teen was injured in a car crash, you can file a claim on their behalf. You can seek compensation for their economic losses, costs of medical care, diminished quality of life, and other negative effects their auto accident injuries have on their life. 

You can also seek compensation for your own economic damages related to the wreck, such as medical expenses you paid for your child or lost wages while you cared for them. 

Experienced lawyers can thoroughly review your case and identify all the damages you are entitled to.

Who Is Responsible for Teen Driving Accidents?

Figuring out who is responsible for causing a teen driving accident is one of the most complex aspects of these auto accident cases. Various parties may be responsible, such as:

The Teen Driver 

Teen drivers are more prone to accidents than other drivers. They may be at fault for the accident. If they have their own vehicle and insurance, you can file an insurance claim with their liability insurance policy.

The Driver’s Parents 

Parents sign their teen’s driver’s license application and state that they will be responsible for the damages their teens cause. 

Other Motorists 

Just because a teen is involved in an accident does not necessarily mean the teen is responsible for the collision. A negligent driver may be responsible for the accident. 

Auto Manufacturers 

If the accident involved a defective auto part, you may have a viable personal injury claim against other parties, such as:

  • Parts manufacturers
  • Distributors
  • Suppliers
  • Designers
  • Safety inspectors 

Contact our knowledgeable personal injury lawyers for help identifying the party at fault for the crash. 

What to Do After a Teen Driving Car Accident

If you are involved in a car accident involving a teen driver or your teen is injured in an accident, follow these steps to protect your health and your legal claim:

  • Report the accident to authorities even if the other driver asks you not to.
  • Seek immediate medical attention. 
  • Exchange information with the other driver.
  • Ask witnesses for their names and contact information. 
  • Take pictures of the accident and damage to all vehicles.

You should also speak to an experienced personal injury attorney. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you won’t owe us for our legal counsel and services unless we recover compensation on your behalf. 

What Is the Deadline to File a Personal Injury Claim in Alabama?

Alabama has a two-year statute of limitations for most personal injury lawsuits. If your teen was injured, this statute is paused until your child’s 19th birthday, so they would have two years from that date to file a lawsuit. However, you may wish to file on your teen’s behalf so you can recover the compensation they will need sooner. An experienced personal injury attorney can review your case and explain the different deadlines that apply.

Contact an Experienced Teen Driver Accident Attorney for Help Today 

If you or your teen suffered injuries in a car accident, you have the right to seek compensation against the at-fault party. Our team of car accident lawyers at Siniard Law, LLC wants to help you recover maximum compensation for your accident injuries. We offer a no-cost, risk-free consultation to review your options. Contact us today for a free phone consultation to discuss your case.