Teen Driver Car Accidents
South Florida Personal Injury Attorney David B. Datny
Boca Raton Car Accident Attorney and Personal Injury Lawyer David B. Datny represent victims of automobile accidents caused by teenage drivers in Boca Raton and throughout Florida. Teenage drivers present a greater danger on the road than older, more experienced drivers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), drivers aged 16 to 19 are nearly three times as likely as older drivers to be involved in fatal collisions. In fact, the CDC reported in 2015, 2,333 teens aged 16 to 19 were killed nationally and 235,845 were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor vehicle accidents. In Florida, according to The Florida Department of Transportation, there were over 60,000 teen driving car crashes in 2016 with 137 resulting deaths and over 15,000 injuries, which emphasizes the significant risk that teenage drivers pose to others on the road.
The CDC attributes the increased rate of car accidents and fatalities among teen drivers in part to:
- Teen drivers having a less-developed ability to recognize hazardous situations
- The higher incidence of critical decision-making errors among teen drivers
- The tendency of teen drivers to follow other vehicles more closely
- The impact of even very small amounts of alcohol on inexperienced drivers
While it’s understandable that a young, inexperienced driver may not be as skilled or quick to respond as a more seasoned driver, the law holds teen drivers to the same standards as any other licensed driver.
Liability in Teen Driver Car Accident Cases
In most cases, a teenage driver will be licensed and insured under a family automobile insurance policy. When the teenager is insured, a teen driver accident claim typically proceeds much like any other car accident case. However, if the teenager is not insured or insurance coverage is inadequate, there may be alternative theories of liability to get you the compensation you need and deserve for your accident. Two of the most common alternative theories of liability in a car accident caused by a teen driver are negligent entrustment of a vehicle and parental liability for injuries caused by minor children.
1. Negligent Entrustment in Teen Driving Accident Cases
The owner of a motor vehicle has a responsibility not to entrust it to someone he or she knows is likely to operate the vehicle in an unsafe manor, whether due to inexperience, negligence, intoxication, a medical condition, or some other reason. In teen driving car accident cases, it is most often a parent who has handed over the keys to the family car. However, this type of liability may extend to anyone who has negligently allowed the teen to drive his or her automobile.
2. Parental Liability for Teen Car Accidents
In Florida, a teen may be the registered owner of a motor vehicle. And, of course, the fact that a crash occurs doesn’t necessarily mean that entrustment of the vehicle was negligent. Fortunately, the state of Florida provides another path to fair compensation for the victim of a negligent teen driver.
When a minor applies for a driver’s license in Florida, that application must be signed by a parent or guardian. In this process, the parent actively agrees to assume liability for the teen driver’s actions, including any personal injury or property damage the teenage driver causes. In this scenario, it is not necessary to prove that the parent was in any way negligent. Proof that the teen acted negligently and the parent assumed responsibility for any accident caused by the teen is sufficient.
Damages Available in a Teen Driver Car Accident Cases
If you have been injured in a teen driving accident, you may be entitled to compensation. While every case is different, generally compensation in a teen driver car accident includes:
- Medical expenses, past and future
- Costs of rehabilitation
- Property damage, such as repair or replacement of your vehicle
- Diminished value for damage to your vehicle
- Lost income, past and future, including for reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering or other intangible losses
Injured by a Teen Driver? Let The Datny Law Firm Help!
Boca Raton Car Accident Attorney and Personal Injury Lawyer David B. Datny has extensive experience handling car accident claims, including teen driver accident cases. He understands the intricacies associated with being injured by an underage driver, and knows how to identify and pursue responsible parties and their insurers. If you’ve been injured by a teenage driver or a loved one has been killed in a teen driving car accident, it is in your best interest to speak with a skilled car accident attorney like David B. Datny as soon as possible. The Datny Law Firm is committed to fighting for fair compensation for injured accident clients, and has helped many victims of serious car accidents rebuild.
Schedule a FREE consultation to learn more about your rights and options after being injured by a teen driver. Just call 561-221-7474 or click in the lower right-hand corner of this page to chat. We’re available 24/7 for your convenience and will travel to you if necessary.
The Datny Law Firm represents injured accident victims in Boca Raton and throughout Palm Beach County including Wellington, Lake Worth, Riviera Beach, Royal Palm Beach, North Palm Beach, Lantana, Golden Lakes, Loxahatchee, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Greenacres, Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Boynton Beach, Boca Raton, Delray Beach. We also represent Clients in Broward County including Coconut Creek, Coral Springs, Davie, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Lauderdale Lakes, Lauderhill, Lighthouse Point, Margate, Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Plantation, Pompano Beach, and Sunrise.