Who is liable after a student driver crashes a car?
When a student driver causes a motor vehicle accident, the liable parties may include:
- The teenage driver
- The parents or guardians of the driver
- The owner of the motor vehicle that the teen was driving
A Florida auto accident attorney from our firm can help determine all potentially liable parties in a student car crash case. We can also help you build a case to recover compensation for your lost wages, costs of medical treatment, and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.
Teenagers Can be Liable for the Accidents They Cause
Student drivers can be as young as 15 years of age. When student drivers who are minors under the age of 18 cause an accident, their parents or legal guardians may serve on their behalf in any resulting lawsuits.
When the student drivers turn 18, however, they are legal adults who are responsible for their own negligence. As many young adults still drive cars belonging to their parents, liability for parties other than the driver still may exist.
A Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney from our firm may be able to assist you with these and other aspects of your case.
Parents or Legal Guardians of Student Drivers May be Responsible for Accidents
Minors who want to get an initial restricted license and later a regular driver’s license must have the signature of a parent or legal guardian on their license applications. The parent or legal guardian must sign a parental consent form for the minor to get any type of license from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), along with the other state requirements.
This form of parental consent remains in effect until the student driver turns age 18. According to Florida Statutes § 322.09, this consent form makes the parent or guardian liable for the acts of the minor student driver while he or she is operating a car.
As a result, the parent or guardian can be legally responsible for any negligence of the student driver in causing an accident.
The FLHSMV also requires that parents, guardians, or responsible adults over the age of 21 certify in writing that the minor has completed the necessary driving hours before they can get a license. This certification may also be relevant in establishing the liability of parents for the acts of their minor children.
Motor Vehicle Owners May be Liable if a Student Driver Causes an Accident
The registered owner and insurance policyholder of the vehicle may be liable for any negligence on the part of the at-fault driver.
In some cases, a student driver may be the registered owner of a vehicle involved in a car accident. However, the parent or guardian is often the registered owner of the vehicle in these types of cases.
Identifying the Potentially Liable Parties in a Student Driver Car Accident Case
Determining who is liable after a student driver crashes a car is not always an easy or straightforward task. Sometimes, other relatives or a friend of the student may own the vehicle involved in the accident. Some level of investigation may be needed beyond the name of the student driver listed on the law enforcement accident report.
In the aftermath of a motor vehicle wreck in which you have suffered severe or catastrophic injuries, you may not have the ability or desire to pursue these issues on your own. Fortunately, a car accident lawyer in Fort Myers, FL, from our firm can help you discover the identity of all parties who may be legally responsible for your injuries.
How a Lawyer from Our Firm Can Help You
When you are suffering from injuries, undergoing medical treatment, and trying to work toward recovery, it can be challenging to manage insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits on your own. Fortunately, a car accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, FL, from our firm can help you.
As a full-service law firm, we can handle all the legal work in your case, including:
- Identifying all potentially liable parties
- Communicating with all parties for you
- Collecting evidence
- Identifying your damages and their value
- Filing your insurance claim or lawsuit
- Negotiating for a settlement
- Going to trial, if necessary
Call Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato today to learn more about your legal options
Contact Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato today at (954) 633-8270 for a free case review with a member of our team. We are a client-centered firm that works hard to give attorneys a good name. We will answer your questions, inform you about your legal options, and respond promptly to your needs throughout our work together.
Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato works on a contingency-fee-basis with no upfront payments required. Our attorney’s fees come out of your settlement or court award if and when you win your case.