Being a teenager isn’t easy. In addition to going through puberty and trying to figure out what they want to do for the rest of their lives, teens also have to deal with incredible social stresses caused by their peers and a generally negative attitude held by all of society toward them.
Teenagers must navigate their rapidly increasing levels of freedom carefully to avoid making a mistake that could have a long-term impact. Mistakes that involve motor vehicles can often be some of the most serious that teenagers make. Parents should do everything in their power to ensure their teens are safe drivers, such as limiting how many passengers they can drive with or how late they can use the car.
However, just because a teen has a greater than average risk of a collision doesn’t mean that every motor vehicle collision involving a teenager is the fault of the teen driver. If your child got hurt in a motor vehicle accident when they were driving, you may need to take extra steps to protect your child.
Car crash-related injuries to teenagers are expensive
Statistics make it clear that teen drivers are among the most at-risk demographic when it comes to the likelihood for a major crash. According to an analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, although teens only represent about 6.5% of the population, they are the source of about 8% of all annual costs of injuries due to car crashes.
The total amount that their injuries cost in 2017 was a staggering $13.1 billion. That year, 2,364 teens died in crashes and another 300,000 required emergency medical care due to injuries suffered in car wrecks. Clearly, teen drivers are at high risk, but that doesn’t mean that they are always the ones responsible for the collisions.
Push for a thorough review of what happened during the crash
Just because teens contribute to many of the crashes that they experience doesn’t mean that they are solely responsible for all the accidents they encounter. Many times, even if the teen was the primary cause of the crash, the other driver may have some shared responsibility or partial liability for their own actions or lack of timely response to the situation.
Understand that personal bias could lead law enforcement officers to accept the fastest and most likely explanation without proving it. If an adult tries to lie and blame a younger driver, the police may take their word for it, leaving your driver and your insurance policy rather vulnerable.
Teen drivers can wind up cited for crashes they did not cause. If issues with liability impact your child’s access to compensation, an attorney could help you build a different storyline supported by evidence from the crash. From witness statements and crash analysis to requesting traffic or security camera footage, there can be ways to prove that a teen was not responsible, but rather the victim, in a crash caused by an adult driver.