You may be surprised to find that the teen’s parents could share liability for their child’s car accidents. Teen drivers have been known to cause catastrophic and even fatal car accidents due to negligent driving.
If you suffered serious injuries in a collision caused by a team driver, you might wonder how to recover the compensation you need to rebuild your life. You have options. However, parental liability can be complex. With help from your car accident lawyer, you can pursue the justice you need.
What to Do After Your Teen Causes a Car Accident
If you have a teen driver who is responsible for causing a motor vehicle accident, you can get a car accident attorney on your side. Your lawyer can help you prepare for the potential civil claims that could follow.
Parental liability is a serious concern in teen driving car accidents, as these situations can result in life-changing outcomes.
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Parental Liability for Car Accidents in Georgia
Under O.C.G.A. § 51-2-2, parents can be held accountable for the damages caused by their children. This includes instances where a teen driver causes a car accident. You might be surprised to learn that parents of teen drivers could also face court fees if their teen acted in malice or willfully.
How Comparative Fault Laws Could Impact Your Case
Shared fault laws could impact your case. Georgia follows a modified comparative negligence system. Here, sharing fault for your injuries will not prohibit you from recovering conversation, as long as your portion of liability does not exceed 50%.
For example, if you were not wearing your seatbelt when you were struck by a teen driver who was driving while distracted, you may be found 15% responsible for your injuries. The judge would then reduce your injury settlement by 15%, leaving you with just 85% of your total award.
For this reason, having a car accident lawyer on your side can be beneficial. They can accurately evaluate your Georgia car accident claim.
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Proving Negligence in a Car Accident Caused By a Teen Driver
Negligence must be proven based on a preponderance of the evidence if you hope to pursue a claim against the teen driver’s parents. Parental responsibility is also known as vicarious liability under the law.
Here, parents can be held accountable for the actions of their children, particularly in cases where parents know their child should not be driving but allow them to do so. The following elements of negligence must be met to prove that a teen drivers parent should be responsible for your damages:
- The parent allowed the child to access and use the vehicle.
- The parent knew or should have known that the teen was likely to drive irresponsibly or not competent enough to drive responsibly.
- The teen’s negligent driving caused the accident.
- The victim suffered from the teen’s negligent actions.
It is not enough to hold a parent liable for the actions of their teen driver if they simply own the car the child was driving at the time of the accident. The parent must have actively allowed their child to use the vehicle at the time in question for the parent to be at fault. You can use evidence to prove negligence in your case. This could include an accident report, CCTV footage, and the teen driver’s phone records.
Filing for Compensation After a Car Accident Caused by a Teen Driver
You could file a claim with the parents’ auto insurance company following your collision, as Georgia is a fault state for car accidents and insurance purposes. However, the insurance company might be unwilling or unable to compensate you fairly for your damages. You might need to sue the parents if you hope to recoup your damages.
Contact a Car Accident Law Firm in Georgia for Help Today
If you suffered a serious injury caused by a teen driver, you might be hesitant to move forward with your case. No matter how severe your injuries, you may be cautious about how moving forward with your claim could impact the liable minor. However, if the teen’s parents are responsible for their actions, you could recover the compensation you need.
Get help exploring your legal options when you contact Bader Scott Injury Lawyers. Get started on your case today when you call our office or complete our quick contact form to schedule your no-cost, risk-free consultation.