Teen Driving Car Accidents in Parker
A disproportionate number of vehicle accidents with devastating injuries involve teenage drivers. This is because teens typically do not have sufficient driving experience to recognize or competently respond to hazardous situations on the road.
When someone is injured in an accident caused at least in part by a teen driver, it might be possible to seek damages for their losses. However, this often requires the skill and experience of a local attorney familiar with teen driving car accidents in Parker.
Proving Adolescent Motorist Fault
A negligent person who causes a car crash can be liable for damages to anyone who suffers property damage or personal harm in the wreck, as long as the victim’s fault does not exceed 50 percent. Inexperienced drivers tend to speed, follow too closely, succumb to texting or other distractions, drive in unfamiliar conditions, and under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They also might drive in conditions that their provisional licenses prohibit, such as after midnight or with other teens in the car with them.
A seasoned local attorney could look into the circumstances of a crash involving a teen driver and uncover evidence of potential negligence. Strong evidence of negligence could be sufficient to assign the teen driver the majority of the responsibility for the accident, allowing the injured party to seek fair compensation.
Are Parent’s Liable for a Teen Driver’s Accident?
In Parker, a parent could sometimes be liable for property damage and personal injury their adolescent child causes in a car crash. This depends on whether the parents violated the parental responsibility or negligent entrustment doctrines.
The parental responsibility doctrine makes parents liable for their children’s negligent acts if those acts result from the parents’ failure to supervise the child appropriately. For example, if a parent permitted an adolescent to drink alcohol and left the car keys accessible, it might be possible to hold the parent liable if the teen got into an accident.
The doctrine of negligent entrustment also might lead to parental liability in certain circumstances. In a motor vehicle accident case, a person who loaned a vehicle to someone who was not competent to operate it safely could be liable for damages a victim suffered in a crash caused by the borrower’s negligence. To hold a parent responsible under the negligent entrustment doctrine, a victim must show:
- The parent entrusted the vehicle to the teen
- The teen was not competent to drive it because they lacked a license or were reckless
- The parent knew the teen was incompetent to drive the vehicle
- The teen’s negligent driving caused an accident that resulted in injuries to another person
Proving negligent entrustment usually requires that the teen have a poor driving record or a history of reckless behavior. Negligent entrustment is not a viable theory if the teen was typically cautious and had not previously been in an accident or received traffic citations. It is also not generally available if the teen driver was licensed, unless there are specific circumstances that shows that the parent knew the teen driver was intoxicated or otherwise acting recklessly at the time the vehicle was entrusted to the teen driver.
Time Limit to File Against a Teen Driver
The Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §16.003(a) gives injured people two years to file a lawsuit after an accident. Once this time has run out, a court will not consider a victim’s claim, and the claimant has no leverage in their negotiations with insurance companies.
An attorney in Parker could accomplish a lot in the weeks and months immediately following a collision with a teenage driver. Conducting investigations, subpoenaing records, and interviewing witnesses are all activities that are best undertaken as soon after an accident as possible. Therefore, it is wise to find experienced counsel right away.
Get Help Pursuing an Accident Claim Against a Teen Driver in Parker
If you have been injured in a teen driving car accident in Parker, you should seek the assistance of a competent local injury lawyer. A legal professional could conduct a thorough investigation and identify all the parties who might be liable for your harm. Your initial case consultation is free, so call today and speak with our team.