January 10, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Are teens the only ones liable for their car accidents?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that car accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers. Three thousand teens die in car accidents every year in the U.S., and one in five 16-year-olds has a car accident in their first year as a new driver.
A parent's liability for the teen's driving
California generally requires parental consent for a teen under the age of 18 to drive. This consent creates the potential for parental liability for any injuries caused by their teen in a car accident. This liability can potentially last until the child is 18 or until the parents withdraw consent of the driver's license. A parent can withdraw consent at any time.
According to Forbes, texting and driving results in 11 teen deaths per day. There are many factors that determine the amount of liability that parents have when their teens cause injury from texting and driving.
Having a teen with a license can be helpful for running errands that parents cannot do. But in California, if a teen is involved in a car accident while running errands for a parent, the parent can be jointly and severally liable with the teen for damages. Under certain circumstances these damages can be up to $15,000 if one person is injured or dies, $30,000 if there are two or more injured. The parent can also potentially be liable for up to $5,000 in property damages.
Negligent entrustment and damages
Parents can potentially be liable under negligent entrustment if they let their teen borrow the car even though they are aware of drug or alcohol-related problems that the teen has. The liability for damages can be greater than those imposed for damages while running errands.
A parent is also potentially liable for any willful misconduct by a teen that causes injury or death to another or any property damage. While the damages are restricted to medical, hospital and dental expenses, the maximum liability for each claim against the teen is $37,400 as of 2011 and increases every two years.
Personal injury claims related to teen driving
Parents who have their children on their insurance policies may be liable for their child's traffic accidents. Car accidents lead to a significant amount of personal injury claims in California. Insurance companies want to settle fast and for as little as they can. They will often look for reasons to give little compensation to parties for physical injuries sustained in car accidents. Statements to insurance companies can affect the outcome of the claim, so having an experienced personal injury attorney can be effective in bringing a favorable outcome.
Article provided by The Cifarelli Law Firm, LLP
Visit us at http://www.cifarellilaw.com/---
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