What if Your Teen Causes a Reckless Driving Accident?

If your teen causes a reckless driving accident, it is time to get a personal injury lawyer on your side.

Teens are at the greatest risk for accidents on the road because, due primarily to their inexperience, they may underestimate the danger around them or fail to identify all of the roadside risks. So who is responsible if your teen was in a reckless driving accident?

Teenage drivers are often covered by their parents’ insurance. If a teenager gets into an accident, the insurance company has to defend the teenager. Because of the higher risk for teen drivers, insurance companies will charge parents a higher premium. But if an insurance company fails to defend a teen driver, parents can bring a bad faith action against them.

Many parents wonder if they will be held responsible for the negligence of their teen driver.

The answer is: not likely. In most cases, the teens themselves are held responsible for the negligence of their driving. The exceptions are when parents know their child is reckless, or if your child is driving as part of work for you (this happens if parents employ their child and the child is driving a company car or personal car on company business).

There are some states which have liabilities on parents if their teens cause an accident on a public road, but if the teen used the car without permission or the parent does not have custody over the teen, they will not be liable for the negligence.

Additionally, parents have the right to revoke their responsibility by refusing to sign an application for a driver’s license for their teen or by reporting to the state that they are revoking their support.

Remember that more often than not, the parents are the owners of the vehicle driven by a teenager. If a parent knows their child is not fit to drive the car, but they allow it anyway, the parents might be held liable under “negligent entrustment.” This might take place if a teen has been drinking and smells like alcohol in front of the parents regularly, but the parents let the teen drive, even though they know their driving skills are compromised.

That said, when your teen is involved in an accident, it is best to contact a lawyer straight away. If you or someone you know is in need of a personal injury attorney for a reckless driving accident, contact the Law Offices of Pat Maloney.