When teenagers get their driver’s licenses, they look forward to the freedom that comes with driving. Unfortunately, the top cause of death among American teens is fatal car accidents. In Illinois, more than 40 teens per year have been killed in traffic crashes since 2018.
Teen driving crashes are largely preventable, which is why it is essential to speak with your teenagers about driving safely and encouraging safe driving practices.
If you are involved in an accident with a teen driver, there are a few things you should take care of at the scene to keep yourself and others safe and start building a case for your recovery.
If you’re injured, call for help right away.
Get yourself and any passengers away from the road if you can. Then, take photos and video of the scene to document vehicle damages. If any witnesses saw the accident, take their contact information.
Call the police immediately following an accident. The responding officer will fill out a report detailing the people and vehicles involved, the damages that occurred, and other circumstances such as road conditions.
The officer may issue a citation to one or both drivers, which can be used to indicate fault. For example, if a witness saw the teen driver run a red light and cause the accident, the officer will probably issue a citation to back up your account of the accident.
No matter who you believe is at fault for the accident, get a copy of the police report —it doesn’t always have the final say concerning fault, but it can be instrumental in your insurance claim or lawsuit against the teen driver.
Illinois has taken various measures to combat teen driver deaths – the biggest being the graduated driver’s license (GDL) program. The GDL program prepares teens for the road with more driving practice under adult supervision than other states. It encourages safe driving by creating graduated steps that can only be passed by avoiding traffic convictions.
New drivers can receive an instructional permit at 15 and hold the permit for at least nine months. They must follow nighttime driving restrictions and practice driving a minimum of 50 hours with a parent or adult over 21 with a valid license.
At 16 to 17, drivers can move to the next licensing phase if they complete a driver education course, follow previous restrictions, and don’t commit any traffic violations.
At 18 to 20, age-related restrictions and curfews are dropped, and the driver is fully licensed.
Teens are at a higher risk of car accidents for several reasons, such as:
Young drivers are also more likely to get into accidents during the weekend and nighttime driving; this risk increases due to some of the other factors listed above, such as alcohol use and driving with friends in the car.
If you’re involved in a Chicago teen driver accident, take the same steps as you would in any crash. Call the police to get a report, don’t discuss fault, and take photos and video of the scene to document damages.
Additionally, notify the teen’s parents so they can come to the scene and exchange contact and insurance information with you.
Car insurance follows the car, not the driver. If the teen driver involved in the accident was using their parents’ car, then the parents’ insurance will be the primary coverage; the same principle applies if the teen was driving their car covered under a parent’s insurance policy.
If the teen purchased their own car insurance and is at fault for the accident, you can file a claim with their insurance since Illinois is an at-fault state.
Your best avenue for pursuing compensation after a Chicago teen driver car accident is to file a claim through the teen’s insurance, which will most likely be their parent’s policy. You may also be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver or their parents to recover additional damages.
Suppose you lost a family member in an accident with a teen driver. In that case, you may be able to recover damages from the responsible party if the other driver committed a wrongful act. To do so, you must prove three elements were present:
Navigating fault after a car accident with a teen driver can become complicated fast. The other driver’s insurance may try to dodge you or avoid paying the appropriate compensation for your damages.
A lawyer can negotiate and fight on your behalf to hold the negligent parties responsible, whether it’s the teen driver, their parents, or both.
You can’t know the other party involved in your car accident is a teen driver until after the fact. If you have questions about insurance claims involving a minor driver, you need a lawyer who knows Illinois car accident law.
When you hire Staver, you gain a supporter who will handle the toughest parts of the case for you. You can expect close guidance at every step of the process, so you always know the status of your claim.
Here are a few questions that may come up after a Chicago teen driver accident:
Yes, but only if the minor is sued through a parent or guardian. You may also be able to hold the teen’s parents liable in some cases.
Yes, when the minor engages in an adult activity such as driving. Any drivers, minors included, owe a duty of care to others on the road.
Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., can take your teen driver accident case so you can focus on your recovery. Our car accident attorneys serve clients throughout the Chicago area, including Aurora, Elgin, Hinsdale, Joliet, Naperville, and Waukegan.
Contact us today to discuss your case with dedicated personal injury attorneys and car accident lawyers.
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We’re ready to fight for you. We’re ready to be your ally. And we’re ready to start right now. Don’t waste time, contact our law offices today.FREE CASE EVALUATION – (312) 236-2900
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