Learning to drive is an exciting time for most teen drivers. However, recognizing that driving is a skill that takes time to develop and can be dangerous, the state of Massachusetts requires new teen drivers to obtain a learner’s permit before earning the right to drive unsupervised. While drivers with learner’s permits must have another driver in the car who is at least 21 years old and who is licensed, usually a parent or guardian, accidents can and do happen. Here’s what you should know about what happens when a teen with a learner’s permit is involved in a car accident—
Teenage Drivers Are the Most Dangerous on the Road
The first thing to understand about teen drivers is that this cohort of drivers may be the most dangerous on the road due to inexperience. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that motor vehicle crashes are the second-leading cause of death for U.S. teens, and that teens between the ages 16-19 are nearly three times as likely to be involved in a fatal crash compared to drivers ages 20 and above.
Because teen drivers are prone to accidents, it’s not uncommon for a teen with a learner’s permit to be presumed to be at fault in an accident. However, this is not always the case. If you are a parent of a teen who has been found at fault in an accident and you want to dispute this, call Tetzel Law for legal representation.
What Happens After an Accident with a Teen Driver?
The post-accident process following an accident with a teen driver should look very similar to the post-accident process following an accident with any driver. Those involved in the accident should move vehicles to a safe location and assess for injuries, report the accident to the police, exchange information, gather evidence at the scene, call their insurance companies, and seek medical care.
Insurance Coverage, Licensing, and More
If a teen with a learner’s permit causes an accident, their parents’ car insurance coverage will likely cover them. The owner of the vehicle (the parent) will probably pay a deductible, and premiums may increase in the future. However, in most cases, there is no worry about the teen not having insurance coverage. Note that a parent may be held liable for their teen’s actions in cases of parental negligence.
In addition to paying a deductible and a potential increase in premiums, the accident will also appear on the record of the teen driver. While accidents for teens are not surprising and will not prevent a teen from getting a license in most cases, a period of at least six months must elapse before the teen driver will be eligible to take a licensing exam.
Call Tetzel Law Today
Whether you are a victim of an accident caused by a teen driver or a teen or parent of a teen who’s been blamed for a crash that you don’t believe you caused, you may have questions about how to recover compensation for your losses and what happens next. At the office of Tetzel Law, our Massachusetts car accident attorney can help you to navigate the law and will work hard to protect your best interests. Schedule a free consultation by calling (617) 742-1700 now or send us a message online to get started.