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Tips for Suing Teen Drivers

Suing teen drivers for careless behavior on the roadways might become necessary if you suffer serious injuries because of their negligence. Teens just getting comfortable behind the wheel can make some dumb driving mistakes because of their inexperience. There is a difference between driving errors born out of ignorance and those made due to inattentiveness behind the wheel. Distracted driving is a common reason for traffic accidents involving teens motorists. Cell phones and passengers were among the biggest diversions, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

When serious injuries or deaths happen at the hands of an inexperienced driver, a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit may be necessary to recover damages.

Do teen drivers have more accidents?

Statistics don’t lie. The risk for motor vehicle crashes is greatest among teen drivers aged 16 to 19 than any other age group. For every mile driven, teens are more than three times as likely than drivers over age 20 to be involved in a fatal accident. According to the most recent data from the CDC, seven teens die each day from injuries suffered in motor vehicle accidents. The likelihood of having an accident behind the wheel increases for teens with other teen or adult passengers in the car because they can be distracting.

Inexperience at recognizing dangerous situations contributes to teen driving mistakes that cause injuries and death to passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers. Biological factors make teens naturally more distractible than adults. Knowing the science behind why teens become distracted is not an excuse for careless or negligent behavior behind the wheel. Driving too fast or goofing off with friends instead of paying attention causes serious injuries to teen drivers, their passengers, and others on the roadways.

Teen drivers who have friends in the car with them are more easily distracted.

What is the most common accident for teen drivers?

One of the most common mistakes teen drivers make behind the wheel involves crashing into fixed objects. Buildings, guardrails, parked cars, traffic signs, and utility poles are favorite targets. These kinds of accidents happen because teens misjudge distance and can become distracted while navigating around or near them.

If one of those fixed objects happens to belong to you, recovering damages might be necessary. Yes, automobile insurance carriers become involved if the accident involves vehicles. However, insurance companies are notorious for paying as little as possible. If you have serious injuries that lead to extended time off work or expensive rehabilitation, insurance payouts may not be sufficient. Contacting a personal injury attorney is your best bet for getting fair compensation.

Filing a claim against a minor

Teen drivers charged with criminal offenses while behind the wheel often are tried as juveniles, which means they receive more lenient sentencing than adults. However, those special protections do not apply to personal injury law. Victims can request their personal injury lawyers file claims against teen drivers who injure them or damage their property while behaving recklessly.

Personal injury lawyers collect documentation that supports your personal injury case, including evidence of liability, like whether the teen was distracted while behind the wheel. Requesting cell phone records, for instance, can prove if a teen driver was talking or texting while driving.

In some instances, you might be able to file a claim against the teen driver’s parents under the New Mexico Parental Responsibility Law. Under Statute 66-5-11, parents or legal guardians can be held responsible for damages and injuries cause by teen drivers. The same provision does not cap nor limit dollar amounts for damages, which increases the likelihood of being compensated for pain and suffering in addition to other damages.

Know when to consult an attorney

When teen drivers cause serious injuries or damage to you and your property, consulting an attorney skilled in personal injury law in New Mexico is a wise choice. Even if you are unsure you want to pursue a personal injury claim, a lawyer can review your case to ensure your rights are protected. Bill Russell is well-versed in personal injury law and can guide you through the process. Call 505-218-7844 or contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation today.  

January 28, 2022