One of the first questions on the mind of someone injured by a teenaged driver is who can be held responsible. In many legal scenarios, special circumstances apply to minors, and you may assume that teen drivers are no exception. You are not wrong — in Georgia, certain laws outline how a teen driver can be held liable following an accident. Do not let that deter you!
An Albany teen driver accident lawyer at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers can help you understand how to pursue compensation, whether from the teenager or another liable party. We can get started on figuring out responsibility through a free consultation. Call now at (404) 888-8888.
Determining Liability in Teen Driving Accidents
Most personal injury claims boil down to demonstrating that someone was behaving negligently, making that person liable. That means that one party did not take reasonable care or precautions, and that lack of care led to an accident and injury for another party. Motor vehicle collisions occur when a driver does not take necessary care on the road. The driver is then held accountable.
However, in some Georgia teen driving accidents, the parents can be held responsible for the accident instead of the young driver, per the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §51-2-2. If a teen driver caused your injuries through their negligent actions, you can bring a personal injury suit against the parent to receive damages. Nonetheless, there are some exceptions.
Teen Driving Accidents and Holding Parents Responsible
In the case of teen driving accident cases, a parent can only be found liable for their teen driver’s negligence if:
● The parent owns or has control of the vehicle.
● The vehicle was for the use of family members, like children.
● The teenager is an immediate family member.
● The teen was allowed to drive the car.
These stipulations do still leave opportunities for victims to sue parents of teen drivers. For more information on whether your accident scenario qualifies you to pursue the parent or the teen driver, contact the office of Bader Scott Injury Lawyers today at (404) 888-8888.
For a free legal consultation with a teen driver accidents lawyer serving Albany, call (404) 888-8888
Negligent Teen Driving Behaviors
Like any negligent driver, teen drivers could have caused your accident through any number of reckless behaviors. Some common crash causes are:
● Traffic violations
● Distracted driving
● Driving under the influence
● Aggressive driving
Although these behaviors can be found in many automobile accidents, teens are especially prone to some of these, particularly distracted and drunk driving.
Distracted Driving and Teens
Teens are associated with texting, but distracted driving encompasses a variety of risky actions while behind the wheel. These can include:
● Social media usage
● Doing makeup
● Talking on the phone
● Changing the radio
● Following a GPS
● Interacting with passengers
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) specifically cites the distraction that passengers pose for teenagers, especially when those passengers are their peers. In fact, with every additional teenager in a vehicle, the risk for an accident increases. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also highlights a survey showing 16 to 24-year-olds as the demographic with the highest cell phone use. Teen drivers may use them for messaging and social media as well as for GPS, as newer drivers might need more guidance to get around.
To combat distracted driving related to phone usage, a hands-free law took effect in Georgia in 2018 that forbids the use of a phone for messaging, social media, and music streaming services while operating a vehicle. Demonstrating that a teen driver violated the hands-free law or was distracted in other ways could involve:
● Phone records
● Text chains
● Social media posts
● Surveillance videos
● Witness statements
Your Albany teen driver accident lawyer can go over the methods that can be employed to emphasize that a teen driver was negligent by allowing themselves to be distracted.
Underage Drinking and Driving
Driving while under the influence is negligent behavior, slowing reflexes, and impairing judgment. Even without alcohol influence, teen drivers are already prone to underestimating dangerous situations on the road and making poor choices that result in accidents, according to the CDC. When alcohol is added into the equation, teenage drunk drivers are more at risk for a crash, even when compared to adults with the same level of alcohol in their systems. Moreover, almost a quarter of teen driver fatalities in 2017 were due to alcohol consumption.
For the victims of teen drunk drivers, the damage can be just as severe, causing major injuries and even leading to fatalities. If you suffered an injury or the tragic loss of a loved one due to a teen drunk driver, Georgia allows two to four years for personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits to be filed, per OCGA §9-3-33. Driving under the influence is the very definition of negligent behavior, and those responsible should be held accountable.
Albany Teen Driver Accident Lawyer Near Me (404) 888-8888
All Drivers Have a Duty to Uphold Safety
Regardless of age, drivers share a responsibility to behave reasonably when they get behind the wheel. Neglect or willful abandonment of this responsibility makes the streets more dangerous for everyone. If any driver’s reckless actions injured you, you have the right to pursue damages. That is fundamental to any personal injury case and what the Bader Scott Injury Lawyers team keeps in mind when we hear from motor vehicle accident victims. Contact our office today to learn how an Albany teen driver accident lawyer can hold the appropriate party responsible for your injuries, fight for your right to compensation, and keep streets safer for everyone. Reach us at (404) 888-8888.