Are Parents Responsible for Teenage Auto Accidents?
Some crash victims can hold parents liable for teen car accidents. When a teenager under the age of 18 causes a collision in Florida, their parents may be legally responsible for any fault-based claims made against the teen. This could occur if the teenager acts carelessly or recklessly, causes a crash, and the victim suffers serious injuries.
Contact our team today if you need help pursuing compensation after suffering an injury in a crash caused by a teen driver. A car accident attorney from the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato is here to help. Call (954) 633-8270 for your free case consultation.
Florida Law Holds Parents Legally Responsible for Their Child’s Negligence
When teenagers act carelessly or recklessly behind the wheel and cause a crash, their parents are likely legally responsible. Under Florida Statutes § 322.09, state law holds the parents accountable for their teen driver’s behavior, including any negligent actions. This is one reason why the state requires a parent or guardian to sign the teen’s license.
In practical application, this means the parent is ultimately responsible for the financial implications of any injuries or damages that occur when their child is behind the wheel. This scenario could occur when:
- The victim files a property damage claim based on the parent’s insurance policy.
- The victim sues the teenager—and the parent—in a personal injury lawsuit.
- The victim files a claim against the parent’s liability auto insurance policy.
Parents of teen drivers must ensure their child drives carefully and responsibly. While everyone makes mistakes, parents can help reduce the crash risk by teaching their children to obey speed limits, avoid distractions, never use their phones while driving, and more. The only way to avoid possibly being responsible for the teen’s car accident is to prevent them from causing a crash in the first place.
Working With an Attorney Can Help Recover Compensation in a Teen Crash
If a teenager caused your Florida traffic accident, our team can help. We understand how these laws apply in collision cases and will assess your case to determine your best option for recovering compensation.
When possible, we pursue additional compensation for our clients outside of their no-fault auto insurance coverage. By building a fault-based case, we can possibly recover damages such as:
- Pain and suffering losses
- Mental anguish
- Medical treatment bills
- Ongoing and future care and support needs
- Income losses
- Reduced earning capacity
- Property damage costs
- Other related expenses
Our Miami car accident attorneys have the experience and knowledge necessary to build a strong car accident case. Our goal is to recover appropriate compensation for our clients based on their expenses and losses. We believe the liable parties should pay for their actions and seek ways to hold them accountable when the law allows us to do so.
In some cases, these liable parties include the parents of teens who acted irresponsibly behind the wheel and caused a crash. Teenage drivers require a high level of supervision and guidance, and parents must be responsible for ensuring their children drive responsibly.
Understanding How Florida Car Accident Insurance Claims Work
Even when a teen causes a crash, their parents generally do not need to worry about a lawsuit. Florida has “no-fault” auto insurance laws. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), the state requires drivers to have two types of insurance coverage:
- A personal injury protection “no-fault” policy, known as PIP
- A property damage liability policy
Both of these policies must include at least $10,000 in coverage. After a crash, the PIP policy is the primary way injured parties can recover compensation. This policy pays:
- 80 percent of medical bills up to the policy limit
- 60 percent of lost income up to policy limits
In most cases, the victim hurt by the teen driver will file a claim based on their PIP coverage and recover the money from their own insurer. However, some circumstances allow this victim to pursue a fault-based case against the teen. This is when their parents could be liable.
When this occurs, the victim generally seeks an insurance settlement or threatens to take the case to a jury trial. Our Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys find this tactic effective, settling many of these cases outside of court. When necessary, we will take the case to trial to recover an appropriate payout for our client.
Discuss Your Options With Our Team Member Today for a Free
The Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato provide free initial consultations for crash victims. If you suffered significant injuries in a teen car accident, you could have the option of pursuing a fault-based claim and recovering additional compensation from the liable party.