Automobile accidents are the leading cause of death among United States teenagers, and the crash rate for teens between the ages of 16 and 19 is 2.7 times higher than the rate for all other age groups. It's no wonder that parents get nervous when their teens get behind the wheel of the car, and if teens are in the car with other drivers their age, that can be even more worrisome. If you discover that your teenager was injured while in the car with another teen driver who caused an auto accident, here is what you should do.
Gather the Facts
First of all, gather as much information as you can about the accident. After ensuring that everyone gets adequate medical care after the accident, get as many facts as possible. Ask questions and take notes on all the facts of the situation that you can. For example, get the name of the driver and all other passengers in the car that your teen was in as well as the other car. Ask about what happened before, during, and after the accident.
Consult a Personal Injury Attorney
Go see a personal injury attorney, like one from Prediletto, Halpin, Scharnikow & Nelson, P.S., about your teenager's injuries. Since an injured teen passenger was not the driver, there is no possibility of liability, so the case is an easier one for a lawyer to take on. Your teenager may have conflicted feelings against cases since they may be friends with the driver of the vehicle, but the personal injury attorney will ensure that your teenager's best interests are protected.
Prepare for a Passenger Injury Claim
Even with a teen driver who may be at fault for the accident, your personal injury lawyer will likely recommend that a passenger injury claim be filed. The parents who insured the teen and the teen's insurance company, and the teen's own attorney will be the ones dealing with this claim, so you don't have to get nervous about the teen who was behind the wheel when it comes to the passenger injury claim.
Finally, keep in mind that safety must be the most emphasized part of a teenager's driving education. After being a passenger in an auto accident, your teenager may be nervous about getting out on the road, so going out on the road and frequently discussing how to stay safe on the road can help your teen make smart choices as they get on the road again.