Teen Driver Accidents
Car accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States. Teenagers are more likely to underestimate dangers on the road and have less experience at avoiding them. They are also more likely to commit moving violations or drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. On average, eight teenagers die every day in the U.S. in motor vehicle collisions. If you have been injured in the Los Angeles area by a negligent driver, the car accident attorneys at Sharifi Firm, PLC can assist you in pursuing compensation.Seeking Compensation after Teen Driver Accidents
A plaintiff suing a teen driver for negligence, or a parent suing a negligent driver for injuries to a teenager, will need to show four elements by a preponderance of the evidence. These are the defendant's duty, a breach of duty, causation, and actual damages. In many cases, the plaintiff can also make an insurance claim or sue the parents of a negligent teen.
In California, teenagers under the age of 18 must ask their parents to sign a consent form stating that they can drive. The consent form agrees that the parents assume liability for accidents caused by their children. Parental liability ends when a child turns 18 or when a parent withdraws consent by filing the necessary form for cancellation of the license. A teenager whose parent withdraws consent loses his or her driving privileges. In general, parents should withdraw consent if they realize their teenage child is a reckless driver, heavy drinker, or prone to getting into an unusual number of accidents.
Parents who loan their cars to their teenagers can be held liable for their teen's negligence under the doctrine of negligent entrustment if they know their teen has a drinking or drug problem or is an incompetent driver and should not be trusted with the vehicle. A plaintiff suing for negligent entrustment must show that the car's owner entrusted the vehicle to the driver, the car's owner knew the driver was reckless or incompetent or unlicensed, the driver was negligent, and the driver's negligence caused an accident that resulted in damages. There is no limit on damages in a negligent entrustment case.
A parent can also be held liable under Vehicle Code section 17150, which provides that every car owner is liable for death or injury to someone resulting from a driver's negligence in operating the owner's car with express or implied permission. Since the liability is not based on the car owner's own negligence, the owner can only be held liable for up to $15,000 for death or injury to one person in a single accident and for up to $30,000 for a single accident involving multiple victims.
In some cases, a teen driver is the victim of someone else's negligence, or both motorists were negligent. If a teen driver suffers catastrophic injuries due at least in part to another's negligence, he or she may be able to recover medical bills, lost wages if he or she holds an after-school job, and pain and suffering. If serious disabilities are caused by an accident, it may be necessary to retain experts to analyze and determine future damages, such as the cost of a caregiver for the rest of the teen's life.Consult a Knowledgeable Motor Vehicle Collision Attorney in San Bernardino
If you are injured in a crash caused by a negligent teenager in the San Bernardino area, our motor vehicle collision lawyers can bring a claim to pursue the damages to which you may be entitled. Contact us at 1-866-422-7222 or via our online form for a free, no-obligation consultation. We also represent clients in Rancho Cucamonga, Temecula, and Riverside, among other communities across Southern California.