In any normal car, crash liability is usually cut and dry. But when you involve a driver that only has a learning permit, or has a provisional license, the subject of liability becomes complex. More so, there are a number of reasons why people need driver’s education or behind-the-wheel instruction. Of course, the most common is that they are under 18 and need help learning how to drive. That means that if you are in a crash with a student driver, they’re among the most inexperienced driver on the road.
Who Could be Liable?
There are three entities that could take the liability for this crash. The student, the instructor, or the driving school. Any of these people, or the entirety of the driving school, could be liable. But it all depends on the situation.
An insurance company, or court ruling, will consider the extent of responsibility, negligence, and the actions which led to the crash. For example, if the instructor told the student to stop, and the student failed to do so, it may be on the student. Then that raises the question of whether their insurance or the driving school’s insurance will cover the damages.
You’ll need to go through each detail with your car accident attorney carefully. You’ll also need to sort out the “he-said, she-said,” issues. As shown in the example above, if the liability comes down to the instructor verbally saying something and the student not hearing it, that could lead to many more problems.
With liability concerns and issues like these, it’s likely that you’ll be caught in a volley between insurance companies. Then you’ll have to deal with each insurance company claiming that they aren’t liable.
Making a Claim Against a Student Driver
A claim against the student driver is the closest you’ll get to a standard insurance claim. Your case for the car crash will rely on you showing that the driver was negligent. Although it might seem like it was on the instructor to prevent this, sometimes that’s not the case. For example, if the student was driving recklessly, running red lights, speed excessively, then they are liable.
But how could that happen without the instructor intervening? It’s possible that the instructor thought it was unsafe given traffic conditions and their students to intervene.
This liability comes up with the issue of learning often. A student driver may claim that they didn’t know their actions were reckless. However, in Georgia, as well as many other states that argument doesn’t stand up well given the written instruction they receive prior to getting behind the wheel.
Claims Against the Instructor or School
You could pursue a claim against the instructor if it was reasonable and possible for them to intervene. Imagine if thee student was following too closely. There was room and opportunity for the instructor to take control and ensure there was more space between the two vehicles.
The instructors are also responsible for setting an example for their students. If an instructor was texting, making a phone call, or was otherwise distracted, they could be liable.
The driving school itself is subject to vicarious liability. Essentially this means that the school is responsible for the unintentional harm done through their employees. If the instructor told the student to take action, which led to a crash, the school is likely liable. The instructor likely did not see the vehicle or could not have anticipated the crash, which means that it wasn’t reasonable or possible for them to prevent the accident.
Additionally, you may pursue compensation from the school if they clearly hired someone with reckless driving convictions or DUIs.
Should You Call An Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer?
Although there are many times where you can settle an insurance claim on your own, you shouldn’t try to in this case. Questions of liability can waste your time when it comes to filing your claim and getting the compensation you need.
Finding The Right Car Wreck Attorney In Atlanta
When you’re ready to start fighting for your compensation, contact The Weinstein Firm. There are not many choices when it comes to student drivers. Driver’s Education company’s work with their insurance company diligently. You need someone who will work just as hard for you.
Insurance companies will use many underhanded tactics to avoid or minimize their payout. You shouldn’t suffer because an instructor or student driver failed to act responsibly. Get the compensation that you deserve, fight for what you need with a skilled attorney by your side. Call The Weinstein Firm now for a consultation.