How To Handle a Teenage Car Accident
One of the most dreaded phone calls a parent can get. Your teenager calls and tells you they’ve been involved in a car accident. Your heart and head begin to pump. The only thing scarier than being in an accident yourself is knowing your child has been in one. However, it’s a very common scenario. The risk of car accidents is higher among teens of the ages of 16 to 19 than among any other age group. Actually, teenage drivers are almost three times more likely to be in a fatal car accident, according to the CDC. This is why we think it’s important for you to know how to handle a car accident involving your teenager.
If your teen was involved in a car accident caused by someone else, or if you have been injured in a car crash caused by a negligent teen driver, contact the car accident attorneys at Cogburn Law now for a free consultation.
Why It Is So Important
Car collisions are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States. This can be a scary statistic, but it is real. Distractions can have negative effects on the driving performance of all drivers, but especially for inexperienced, young drivers. Even though teenagers know that driving while using their phones is unsafe, they still do it anyway.
Knowledge is one of the most important ways we can decrease risk, so you should have a talk with your teen about road safety and teach them what they can do in case of a car accident.
It’s important to not try and scare them, but instead, make them understand what their responsibilities are and the consequences of potential scenarios could be.
#1 Talk With Them About How To Avoid Car Accidents
Sit down with your kid and start an open conversation about why it is so important to drive without any distractions (texting, friends talking, loud music), and more specifically, the physical and legal consequences of driving unsafely or under the influence. Around 39% of high school students text while driving, this could easily include your teen.
You can also have a discussion with them about how to properly maintain their vehicle, and make sure they know what they are in charge of and what other things you can help them with in order to avoid a car crash. Severe weather conditions are something your kid should know how to handle as well. To learn more about how to avoid hydroplaning car accidents, click here.
#2 Talk About What They Can Do If They’re Involved In a Crash
Let your teen know that the highest priority when they are involved in a car accident is their safety. If they get involved in a car accident and there is no one around, or if someone else caused the collision, they can drive to a police station. If they can’t, they can call 911 while they are on their way.
It is very important that they always call the police first, no matter what. Tell them that is not an option for them to exchange contact or insurance information privately with the other party. Even if there is no damage, there is no way to verify if all that information is correct.
Unless they don’t feel safe, they should remain at the scene of the accident and wait for the police to get there. Tell them they should take pictures of the scene for the purpose of documentation.
Your kid should also call you so you can get to them or give them advice over the phone. Having a parental figure take charge of the situation is very comforting for a shaken and scared teenager.
#3 Tell Them Not To Admit Fault
Teach them why they should never admit fault. Some irritated drivers will immediately blame teenage drivers for the car accident regardless of what happened. They may also take advantage of their inexperience and intimidate them into apologizing.
If your kid ends up apologizing, it could be used against them in any future legal claim proceedings, even if they weren’t guilty. Tell your kid to watch what they say, even if they think they caused the accident.
What You Can Do When Your Teen Has A Car Accident
#1 Take Pictures
As a parent, you have a critical role to play when your teen has been involved in a car crash. If you are able to drive to the scene of the accident, take pictures of absolutely everything. And, make sure your kid takes some too.
#2 Get Your Kid Looked At By A Doctor
Immediately after the accident, have them get checked by a doctor. Even if they don’t look injured, some injuries take some time to present themselves. Check on your kid and get them to tell you if something hurts, and to tell you if any new pain or aches arise.
#3 Talk With Your Teen
Talk about what happened with your teen to get a better understanding of what went down. If it was a particularly traumatic experience, or if they seem distraught, consider getting them some counseling. If this is not their first car accident, maybe consider getting them additional driving lessons.
#4 Call A Car Accident Attorney
Call an experienced car accident attorney as soon as you can. Other drivers involved in the crash or even police officers will typically blame a younger driver for the car accident, and if they get a citation it can have serious consequences for your teen.
If someone else was responsible for the crash, your teen should not suffer, especially if they were injured. You may be entitled to get financial compensation for their hospital bills, and the cost of vehicle repair.
Teen Car Accident Attorney in Las Vegas
The right lawyer can help you understand your legal options. If your teen was injured in a car accident in the Las Vegas area, contact Cogburn Law today. Our experience getting justice for our clients can assure you get a fair settlement for you and your kid! Call us now at (702) 748-7777 for a free consultation.