MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota. The greatest risk to teen drivers is their inexperience. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2014, 1717 teen drivers were killed in car accidents and another 170,000 teens were injured. While getting a driver’s license is an important step in every teen’s life, parents should also be aware of the risk and liabilities they face should their teen get into an accident. For instance, if your minor teen is responsible for an accident, you, as a parent or guardian can be held legally liable for any damages caused. The Law Office of Martin T. Montilino is a personal injury lawyer in Minneapolis, Minnesota who understands the unique challenges facing teen drivers. No parent wants to think about their teen getting into an accident, but a teen who is prepared may be able to better handle the situation. So, what should your teen know? Here are a few steps your teen driver should know to take if he or she gets into an accident. After all, according to Safecar.gov traffic safety begins at home:
- Call the police: It is impossible to know the extent of the other driver’s injuries. Even if your teen feels fine, he or she could have suffered a concussion, or may be injured. Always call the police and file a report after an accident. Having a police report on file could protect your rights later should you need to pursue a personal injury lawsuit or when seeking a recovery from your insurance company.
- Don’t admit blame: Insurance companies and other drivers assume that teen drivers are inexperienced and therefore dangerous. In many cases, this bias can hurt your teen after a crash. It is important that your teen understand that he or she is not required to admit blame at the scene of the accident. Other drivers may blame your teen, or your teen may feel guilty or confused after a crash. It is important that your teen understand his or her rights. When the police arrive on the scene, their only duty is to calmly explain the facts of the crash. They do not have to admit blame. Leave that to the police.
- Get contact information and exchange insurance information: Always write down the names of the other parties involved and get their insurance information. If your teen can do so, it can be helpful to take photos of the crash and car. This can be important evidence that you can submit to your insurance company or provide to a personal injury lawyer should one be contacted later.
- Contact parents: After the police have been called and information has been exchanged, teens should call their parents.
As a parent, no one wants to hear that their teen has been involved in a crash. However, if your teen has been injured, you may want to speak to a personal injury lawyer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Law Office of Martin T. Montilino can evaluate your case and determine whether you may be entitled to receive a recovery under the law. Insurance adjusters may sometimes try to offer families lower settlements than they may deserve. Understanding the value of your claim is incredibly important in negotiations with insurance companies. Visit us at https://www.martinmontilino.com/ today to learn more.