Tag Archives: teen drivers

Mistakes Teen Drivers Make After A Car Wreck.

Did you know that the risk of motor vehicle crashes among 16- to 19 year-olds is higher than among any other age group? With the risk of crashing so high, it is important that young drivers are aware of what they should do if they are involved in a motor vehicle collision.

Some of the most common mistakes made by young drivers after a car crash include:

1. Fleeing The Scene

All too often young drivers are scared of getting in trouble with both the law and their parents. As a result, young drivers try to flee the scene of a crash (even if they are not at fault). It is important that young drivers understand that this is the complete opposite of what they need to do. Fleeing the scene of a crash carries criminal penalties, and creates a much bigger problem than simply staying put and telling the truth.

2. Talking Too Much

One of the worst things you can do at the scene of a crash is talking too much. Teenaged drivers seem to forget that everything that they say at the scene can be used later on against them. Admitting that you are sorry or that you were just trying to change the radio station is something that should be avoided at all costs.

3.  Not Calling The Police

Oftentimes, other drivers on the road take advantage of how naive teenaged drivers can be. If you are involved in a car wreck, it is so important that you call the police. Just because the other driver says that you don’t need to call the cops or that they will just give you their car insurance information does NOT mean that you shouldn’t call the police. By calling the police, you are ensuring that there is some way to confirm what happened to you.

4. Agreeing With The At-Fault Driver

Completely eliminate the word “sorry” from your vocabulary after a car wreck.

Saying sorry after a wreck could be taken as an admission of guilt, and it will likely be used against you down the road, even if you weren’t at fault.

It’s a tough habit to break for some, but you must avoid apologizing at the scene of an accident.

Even saying you’re sorry to someone who wasn’t involved in the accident can be used against you.

5.  Forgetting To Take Pictures

It makes sense, young drivers get nervous. They aren’t comfortable asserting themselves and are worried about getting into trouble with their parents once they get home. But it is so important that teenaged drivers take the time to take photographs of the damage to the vehicles involved in the crash. Taking the extra few minutes to document what happened can make or break a case, and it is important that young drivers remember this crucial part of the car wreck checklist.

6.  Posting On Social Media

Perhaps the biggest mistake that teenaged drivers make after a car crash is posting on their social media. In today’s world, people are becoming more and more comfortable with posting their personal lives on social media, especially teenaged drivers. But, posting on social media is like giving the other side a gift. Everything that is posted to your social media can be and WILL BE used against you later on. Posting a photo at the scene might seem like a great way to snag some likes, but it is one of the worst things you can do for your injury case. Make sure that you or your teenaged driver is aware of our Social Media Instructions for Injured People!!

7. Not Speaking With A Lawyer (YES! they can be represented)

A minor (under the age of 18 in the state of Florida) does not have the right to bring a lawsuit against someone else. However, their parents CAN bring a lawsuit on their behalf. Therefore, if a child is in a car accident, their parents will often hire a lawyer to represent them. The parents and the lawyer will then work together to represent the child’s best interests throughout the lawsuit.

Refer to the car wreck checklist for more info on what to do right after you’ve been involved in a car accident.

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you’ve been the victim of an accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe, or by requesting a free case review through our website.

sources:
https://www.teendriversource.org/teen-crash-risks-prevention/car-accident-prevention/basic-facts-about-teen-crashes

 

Car Wrecks and Teen Drivers – Who is Liable?

If you are the victim of a car crash that is not your fault, there is a decent chance that the at-fault driver is a teenager. The question we frequently get is this: can a plaintiff recover damages from anyone else besides the teenage driver? The answer is yes. 

Teenage Drivers and Reckless Driving

Everyone knows that teenage drivers are more dangerous than most other motorists. One reason is that they have less experience with driving than the rest of us. Further, the teenage brain is not fully developed and hence is more susceptible to the temptations of driving recklessly and too fast.


STUDIES SHOW THAT DRIVERS AGED 16-19 ACCOUNT FOR MORE THAN A THIRD OF ALL DRIVING DEATHS THAT INVOLVE SPEEDING. THIS NUMBER IS EXPECTED TO INCREASE.


As we said in a previous post, traffic fatalities are increasing among all age groups during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although overall traffic levels are down, fatalities are up because the reduction in gridlock is causing drivers to drive faster than they would normally. Because teens are even more susceptible to speeding and reckless driving than the rest of us, fatalities among teens have risen at a higher rate than other segments of the population.

Dangerous Instrumentality

When you are involved in a car crash with a teenage driver, there is a good chance you can recover from the teenager’s parent’s insurance policy. Under Florida law, a motor vehicle is classified as a “dangerous instrumentality.” Florida’s “dangerous instrumentality” doctrine means that an owner of a vehicle is legally liable for any damage caused by the negligence of anyone that they allow driving their car.

Vicarious Liability

In the vast majority of cases, the cars driven by teenage drivers are actually owned by the driver’s parent. In this case, the wreck implicates the parents’ insurance policy, even though the parent was not the one driving the vehicle. Lawyers refer to this liability as “vicarious liability”—meaning that the owner of the vehicle is liable despite the fact that the owner did not cause the crash. 

Burden of Proof

The only viable defense against a vicarious liability claim involving a dangerous instrumentality is that the person driving the car never had permission to drive the car. This issue is very rare and usually arises when the driver is a car thief. The burden to prove this defense is on the owner, and the rare successful defenses usually involve situations where an owner has made a police report prior to the wreck. 

If you have been in a car wreck caused by a teenage driver, you should not automatically give up on filing a claim against their insurance. Instead, you should hire an experienced lawyer to handle your claim. Potential clients shouldn’t just hire any lawyer. Not all lawyers are equal in their training and qualifications. The Florida Bar does not typically allow lawyers to hold themselves out as “experts.” However, the Bar does allow lawyers who have extensive experience in personal injury and tort cases to become specialists in civil trial. Only one percent of Florida lawyers have this certification. Two out of three of the lawyers on staff at Zarzaur Law, P.A. are Board Certified in Civil Trial. 

So, when potential clients ask us about whether or when to hire a lawyer after an accident, we remind them that only a Board Certified civil trial lawyer is a specialist in this area of the law. Since all injury lawyers have the same “no fee no cost unless you win” payout structure, there is no reason to hire someone who is not a specialist. 

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you’ve been the victim of an auto accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.

 

Sources:
https://definitions.uslegal.com/d/dangerous-instrumentality-doctrine/

https://www.cdc.gov/transportationsafety/teen_drivers/teendrivers_factsheet.html

https://www.flhsmv.gov/safety-center/driving-safety/teen-drivers/

https://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2021/01/26/teen-drivers-speeding-high-death-rate-Governors-Highway-Safety-Association-PennDOT/stories/202101260171

https://www.ghsa.org/sites/default/files/2021-01/GHSA_TeenSpeeding_Final_Jan21.pdf

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2021/01/28/iihs-aaa-crash-test-speeding-traffic-safety/4265112001/