It happens to the best of parents. When you have a teenager, you try to instruct them down the path that will lead them toward success. The idea that keeping them out of trouble is easy is ridiculous. But, when they do something like taking the car without permission to drive, that is frustrating. It could even result in them getting hurt or hurting someone else.
Even if your teen didn’t have permission to drive the car, you’re unfortunately still responsible. The responsibility of the crash of any minor will always fall, with respect to the fault of the driver, on the parent. That’s a little complex to handle, but you can always get a better perspective on the matter with the help of an Atlanta automobile wreck attorney.
Drivers Permits, and Licenses for Minors
Does your teen have their permit or license? If they don’t have a license or a permit with an adult in the vehicle, they could be responsible. When it comes to fault, the system is no so forgiving. A teenager driving without any legal right to be behind the wheel could be found as at-fault without actually being at fault. The idea here is that they should never have been in the car in the first place.
The same issue could come up if they had their permit but no adult driver in the vehicle. Now, if they had their license, you would default to a traditional fault and look at the responsibility behind the wreck.
Licenses for minors, however, are typically seen as provisional. The restrictions they experience are supposed to help them build good driving habits independently. However, they should always respect your rules. In the event that you have something like this happen, and don’t want to face it again, then call your insurance company.
The Parent is Always Responsible, But Not Always At-Fault
As mentioned before, if you have anyone in your household that you don’t want to drive your vehicle, call your insurance company. Because you’re the parent, you’re always responsible for their segment of the fault. That contribution of fault could vary from 0% to 100%. For those who have a 0% fault, you’re lucky.
But, to avoid this same situation in the future and restrict driving privileges, you can alert your insurance that the teen is not permitted to drive. For insurance providers, everyone in the household who has access to keys is expected to use family cars. The family car system works because you’re not insured, your vehicle is. But, if you don’t want your teen driving, you must declare that they don’t have access and that you’re restricting responsibility. This can lead to big problems, though, if your teen does take the car again.
It Really Doesn’t Matter if They Had Permission to Drive or Not
Fault is always the top concern when resolving a crash, after the injuries that are. If your teen was hurt, focus on their recovery first. The police department and insurance companies will begin evaluating fault immediately. Your insurance company and the insurance provider of the other driver, however, may be at odds.
It’s not so surprising that young drivers receive blame for crashes they weren’t actually responsible for. When an experienced driver sees a teen behind the wheel, they instantly assume they are at fault. The fault matter, however, isn’t so simple as who is most experienced.
Crash recreation experts can help show that your teen wasn’t at fault by presenting raw facts with the science to support it. These experts will explore how the crash happened and explain why it didn’t happen the way the other driver claims.
As long as your teen had the license to drive the vehicle, it’s probable that the matter of permission is a household problem. If you’re worried that the lack of permission will play a role in fault, it probably won’t. Although it might seem as though the other driver could argue it, they likely can’t.
Should You Call An Atlanta Auto Accident Lawyer?
An Atlanta auto accident law office should help you show that you, or your teen, weren’t at—fault. That doesn’t mean that your teen is free and clear. If they took your vehicle without your permission and got into a wreck, it’s clear that there’s a complex situation there. But, we can help evaluate fault and set up a strong case.
The Weinstein Firm is a go-to option for Atlanta residents who are the victim of a crash. Your teen’s crash is no different. We’ll help you outline what they were doing behind the wheel and fight for coverage.