Although not a consoling thought, if you have been seriously injured in a teen driver accident, you are far from alone. The NHTSA reports that 12 percent of motor vehicle deaths in 2017 involved teen drivers. No matter what the age of the person whose negligence resulted in the harm that came to you or tragically caused the death of a loved one, you are entitled by law to substantial compensation. The powerful traffic accident attorneys at Nagel Rice LLP, an esteemed practice that fights for the rights of teen driver accident victims throughout New Jersey, is ready to help.
Are parents responsible for injuries caused by their teen drivers?
In most cases, the answer to this question is yes. Even if parents state that their teenager took the car out without their permission, they may be held responsible for the damage their teen caused. The reality is that teens who pay for their own car insurance typically get minimal coverage, so, in the case of severe injuries, their policies won’t cover your expenses. It is definitely possible to sue the parents for damages through their more comprehensive insurance.
If your injuries require very expensive procedures or long-term care, and you must sue the individual for compensation beyond insurance coverage, the parents are a much better target to focus on, since teens typically have few or no assets. Such cases are complicated to negotiate, so it is imperative to have a skilled car accident attorney at your side.
What We Will Do to Protect Your Rights
Our talented car accident lawyers are well-prepared to file a lawsuit against the driver that caused your injury and to fight hard to win your case. Moreover, we will charge you no attorneys’ fees until we win you damages. On your behalf, we will:
- Investigate the accident site
- Examine all police and medical records
- Interview witnesses
- Consult with experts in related fields
- Work diligently to develop and implement winning strategies
- Negotiate and litigate skillfully against the defending lawyers
Once we take your case, you can leave everything to use and focus on recovering from your physical and emotional trauma.
Why are teen driving accidents so common?
There are a great many reasons for the increased risk teen drivers present to others and themselves. The highest risk is for teens ages 16 to 19 and those who are male. Though the statistics concerning teen driver accidents are terrifying to all of us who are parents, they don’t seem to alarm the majority of teenagers enough to make them appropriately cautious.
Studies indicate that most teen driver accidents are caused by failure to scan for hazards, as well as by speeding and being distracted. In many cases, a combination of inattention and recklessness lead to a collision.
It should be remembered, however, that many teens are excellent and careful drivers and that many adult drivers are poor or reckless drivers. We don’t want to make the mistake of painting all adolescent drivers with the same brush.
Causes of Teen Driver Accidents
Scientists tell us that the human brain doesn’t fully develop until we reach about 25 years of age, at which point adults begin to think using the prefrontal cortex, the most rational part of the brain. Therefore, teens are more likely to make misguided, dangerous decisions. This is no doubt the underlying cause of many teenage driver accidents. Specific causes of these accidents often include one or more of the following:
Driver Inexperience — All drivers drive more safely once they have more experience, but a high percentage of teens are involved in a collision during their first 3 months on the road.
Driving with Teen Passengers –Peer pressure is at its peak during the teen years and is, unfortunately, not likely to persuade a teen driver to greater caution. Fatalities double when teen drivers have passengers in their cars.
Night Driving — Night driving is more dangerous than daytime driving for everyone but especially for teen drivers for whom it often involves several passengers exhilarated by their newfound freedom and alcohol or substance abuse.
Distracted Driving — Distracted driving has been a problem since cars were invented, but possible driver distractions have increased exponentially since then to include: phone calls, texting, GPS devices, radios, TVs, adjustable air-conditioning, sunroofs — the list goes on. And, teens, energetic and enthused, are frequently more distractible than adults.
Reckless Driving — Teen drivers are more likely to be reckless drivers, partly because they don’t consider consequences and partly because they want to impress their peers with their devil may care attitude. Teens tend to  use their seatbelts less often  make more sudden, unexpected turns  speed, tailgate, and ignore traffic signals more frequently.
Impaired Driving — Tragically, our culture considers drinking alcohol a sign of adulthood, so teens are eager to indulge, too often before or during driving. More than 15 percent of high school students report riding with a young driver who had been drinking within the previous month. Abusing prescription and illegal drugs is also, of course, all too common among teens.
No matter how clearly an adolescent mindset contributes to the scary statistics surrounding teen driver accidents, there is no justification for the personal injury you have suffered. Whatever the age of a driver, she or he owes a duty of care to the public. At Nagel Rice, we will stand up for your rights and advocate for you throughout your ordeal.
Damages We Will Fight to Win
Our car accident attorneys will fight tirelessly to win you every dollar you deserve for:
- Lost income and/or earning power
- Medical and rehabilitation costs
- Property damage or loss
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Extended nursing care
- Alterations to your home to make it accessible
- Permanent scarring or other disfigurement
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of household services
- Final medical costs, funeral costs, loss of financial and emotional support (in case of wrongful death)
If the teen who caused you harm behaved in an especially egregious manner, the court may award you punitive damages over and above the economic and non-economic ones listed above.
Contact Our Skilled Teen Driver Accident Attorneys for Justice in New Jersey
No matter how troubling teen drivers are to our society as a whole, you need strong legal representation to recover the damages you need after a teen driver accident. When you call on Nagel Rice, we will treat you with respect and compassion, and work hard to get you the compensation you require to heal, stabilize your finances, and get you back on track.