Everyone remembers how nerve-wracking it was to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle for the first time, but over time, most teenagers learn how to be safe and responsible at all times while driving. As various accident statistics clearly show, teen drivers often lack the experience to be completely safe while on the road, meaning they cause a disproportionate number of accidents compared to other age groups.
When someone under 18 or otherwise still dependent on their parents is responsible for a crash you were involved in, the process of seeking financial compensation for your damages can be more complicated than it usually is. Guidance and support from a capable car collision attorney can be essential to getting the best possible outcome from any case built around teen driving accidents in Leander.
One important thing to understand about car accidents in Leander involving teen drivers compared to all other types of wrecks is that, under state law, licensed drivers of any age can be held directly liable for their negligence leading to a collision, including drivers under 18. In practice, it is much more prudent to seek restitution from the parents or guardians of a teen driver involved in a wreck, since they usually have more assets to pay for damages with and are often the primary owners and insurance policyholders for the vehicle their child was driving.
State law does not automatically hold vehicle owners liable for any collision caused by a family member driving their car. Instead, the court follows the negligent entrustment doctrine, under which vehicle owners are responsible for wrecks caused by someone they allowed to use their vehicle if the owner knew the other person was unlicensed, reckless, or otherwise unable to drive safely.
Another complicating factor that can play a role in teen driving car accident claims in Leander is the modified comparative fault system followed by the civil court. In accordance with Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 33.001-33.017, any person who holds some amount of responsibility for causing their injuries in an accident—for example, someone who violated traffic law at the same time as the teen driver who collided with them—may have any final damage award they receive from a court verdict reduced in proportion to their share of total fault for the incident.
Additionally, any person found to hold a majority of total fault for a crash they were involved in cannot recover any civil compensation for their accident-related injuries, even when someone else involved was also negligent. The fact that teen drivers are statistically more likely to cause car crashes does not mean a court will automatically assume a teenager is completely to blame. Having help from legal counsel can be key to ensuring that allegations of comparative fault do not unfairly limit recovery.
Getting involved in a car collision caused by a young driver can make for uniquely complicated civil proceedings afterward. When you want a fair shot at compensation, you need assistance from a legal representative who has handled similar cases successfully in the past.
The help you may need after teen driving accidents in Leander is available from our lawyers. Call today to set up a meeting about your legal options.