The leading cause of death for persons ages 15 – 20 in the United States is traffic incidents. Teen drivers have the highest average annual incidence of vehicular collision and traffic violation over any other age group. The crash rate for 16 year-olds is 3.7 times higher than drivers of all ages. As a parent, it’s extremely devastating when your child is injured, or worse, killed in a car accident. The human brain continues to develop well past teen years, especially the frontal lobe, which is responsible for weighing risks and behaving rationally. This could be why, in addition to inexperience and other factors, teen incidence of car crashes and traffic violations is so high. If your child has been injured in a car accident, speak with a car accident lawyer in Sacramento as you may be entitled to compensation.
Because teenagers are new on the road, they have very specific laws they need to adhere to. If you have any specific questions, speak with a car accident lawyer in Sacramento for legal advice. Here are some of the laws pertaining to teens in California:
During the first 12 months
Other than the restrictions above, teen drivers are held to the same standards as drivers of any other age and thus may be held liable during a collision. In the state of California, legal guardians are required to sign license applications for minors, holding them equally responsible for damages caused by the young driver. The guardian or other individual may also be held liable if a minor is given express permission to use that individual’s vehicle and ends up causing damage.
Parents without contact with their child are not usually held liable for damages the young driver makes as they are not in a position of control or influence over the driver’s behavior. Every case is unique so it’s best to consult with a car accident lawyer in Sacramento.
In California, shared fault in an incident is considered if a case goes to court. In these situations, the amount of fault for all individuals involved in the incident is taken into account and may affect the damages awarded. For example, if you are sideswiped by a vehicle making an unsafe lane change, but you were on your cell phone with no hands-free device at the time of the incident. Should you go all the way to court, you may be deemed to bear some percentage (e.g. 25%) of the responsibility for the incident. If damages are awarded, you will lose that percentage of the compensation (e.g. 25%).
It is important to talk to your young driver about California laws regarding car collisions. Be sure your young driver knows what to do in the case of a collision and how to drive safely so as to avoid causing or incurring injury or damage. It’s a good idea to specifically discuss the following California laws with your new driver:
Has your young driver been involved in a car collision? It’s imperative you speak to a knowledgeable and experienced car accident lawyer in Sacramento to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Give us a call at (916) 357-6767 for a free consultation.