TEENAGE DRIVERS AND LIABILITY

  • POSTED: September 5, 2017
  • CATEGORY:
  • POSTED BY: TheChoyceLawFirm

Fairfield CA Injury Lawyer Helps With Teenage Driver Liability Auto Accidents

Obtaining a driver’s license is a monumental and much anticipated moment in a teenagers life. Unfortunately, parents sometimes overlook the potential liability issues involved in allowing their children to drive any motorized vehicle. Any licensed driver who gets behind the wheel owes a “duty of care” to all other drivers, passengers, bicyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians. If any driver fails to comply with this duty through negligent or reckless driving and someone is injured as a result, the driver will be liable for medical bills, lost income and other losses stemming from the crash. In California, if the driver is a minor (under the age of 18), the parents/guardians or whoever signed the driver’s license application for the minor is liable until they turn 18.

The California DMV states that a minor’s application for a driver’s license must have the signatures of:

  • Both parents, if the parents are California residents and have joint custody, or
  • Both parents, if divorced with joint custody, or
  • One parent, if that parent has custody, or
  • Guardians of the minor, if neither parent is living or has custody, or
  • The person having actual full and complete custody if no legal guardian is appointed

If the parents are not residents of California, they cannot sign the application form and therefore cannot accept liability for a minor. Nonresident military parents stationed and living in California can sign the application. If the parent or guardian does not have contact with or custody of the teen driver at the time of the accident, parental responsibility is usually dismissed and the parents or guardian cannot be held liable. In any case, it’s best to contact an experienced attorney who can assist with your specific case.

Teenage Driving Facts

Teenage drivers are in a special risk category when it comes to driving. It’s an exhilarating feeling to be out on the open road, but teenagers are more likely to get in an automobile accident than more experienced and older drivers. Some startling facts prove this:

  • Drivers ages 16 and 17 are nearly 9 times more likely to have an accident than middle aged drivers
  • 61% of teenagers admit to risky driving habits
  • Teens are more likely to underestimate or not recognize dangerous driving conditions
  • 33% of high school students nationwide have texted or e-mailed while driving
  • 12% of distracted drivers involved in fatal car accidents were teens ages 15-19
  • 13% of teens admit to texting while driving
  • 48% of kids ages 12-17 report being in a car when the driver was texting
  • 8% of high school students reported driving a car or other vehicle one or more times when they had been drinking alcohol
  • 33% of drivers ages 15-20 who were killed in car accidents had a BAC of .01 or higher and 28% had a BAC of .08 or higher
  • 70% of drivers who died in underage drinking and driving accidents didn’t use a seat belt

The statistics speak volume to the dangerous effects of negligent teenage driving. If you’ve been involved in an accident with a teen driver, contact an experienced Fairfield CA injury lawyer immediately.

Vicarious Liability

Anyone who causes an accident due to negligence is liable for themselves. Vicarious liability is a legal doctrine in California that creates liability for a person who did not actually cause the injury but who has a special relationship with the one who did. When parents sign their child’s driver’s license form, they are accepting financial responsibility for that minor. California requires that drivers and vehicle owners carry the following minimum monetary limits:

  • $15,000 for injury or death of 1 person per accident
  • $30,000 for injury or death of 2 or more persons per accident
  • $5,000 for any property damage per accident

If you’ve been injured due to a teenage driver’s negligent behavior on the road, contact a Fairfield CA injury lawyer and get legal representation immediately so you can get the compensation you deserve.

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REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
IMPORTANT US