Texas Car Crashes and Teen Drivers
A 17-year-old driver was killed in an automobile accident in Manor this month. His car skidded, striking that of a couple with a young girl, though none of those in that car were killed. While the victims of the man’s misfortune escaped relatively lightly, this does not mean that all those who encounter teenage drivers are so lucky. If you, by comparison, have a teenage son or daughter who has been in an accident, it is important to understand what they likely face.
Teen Drivers Are Generally Less Careful
While obviously, many teen drivers are cautious and prudent on the road, a higher share of their age group is not, proportionally speaking. The Texas Department of Transportation shows that statistically, the highest percentage of drivers in fatal crashes are between the ages of 19 and 23, and the number of drivers killed in fatal accidents is by far the highest at ages 22-24. Many teenagers feel as if the average risks of driving do not apply to them, or simply do not contemplate them - they are more likely than older people to take chances behind the wheel, such as rushing to make a light or taking a “shortcut” over a curb.
There has been some improvement in terms of teaching teenagers not to text and drive, with significant drops being reported in the numbers of teens who report engaging in such behavior, and also in far fewer teens taking the risk of driving under the influence. However, very little can encourage general prudence besides witnessing the aftereffects of an accident. For example, it is much more likely that a younger person will attempt to push through fatigue rather than taking time to rest and recover.
If You Are Hit
If you are injured in an accident with a teenage driver, there are certain things you should be aware of before attempting to seek compensation for the harm you suffered. Perhaps the most important is that if the teenage driver who hit you is still a minor, they are generally not considered civilly liable for their actions, as minors cannot contract or perform other tasks as an adult. Parents are, with rare exceptions, liable in Texas for the property damage their children commit, but they are off the proverbial hook if an altercation or other personal injury situation occurs, at least in terms of the relevant statute. Thus, in some cases, it may be worth to pursue the matter as far as possible, but understanding the unique position of minors does matter.
If the teenage driver who hits you is over 18, most of the time the appropriate way to seek remedies will be to bring a negligence suit just like most others in such a situation. If the child is an adult or will reach adulthood during the statute of limitations, they are subject to the court’s jurisdiction. Then, you may prove the typical points required in a negligence action - that a duty exists, that the duty was breached, that the breach was due to the defendant’s conduct, and that you suffered tangible harm as a result.
Contact Our Car Accident Attorneys
Every driver must learn the rules of the road in a way that cannot be taught in a classroom, but sometimes this can be quite confusing. If you have questions or need assistance, the skilled New Braunfels car accident lawyers at the Bettersworth Law Firm may be able to help. Contact the offices today to set up an initial consultation.