Tupelo Teen Driver Accidents
The state of Mississippi has laws in place that restrict the times in which teens are allowed to drive unsupervised. Mississippi even has a multi-phase licensing system that allows inexperienced teens to gradually become familiar with driving and the complexities of the road. For example, 14-year-old teens can apply for a learner’s permit, but it is only for use when driving a driver education vehicle while accompanied by an instructor. All of these types of measures are designed to protect teen drivers and others. Despite these laws and systems in place, teen driver accidents still happen all over the South. If you are injured by a negligent teen driver, you should contact one of our Tupelo car accident attorneys today for a free consultation. At Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz, we have 30 attorneys, 120 staff members, and more than 30 years of experience representing people hurt in car accidents.
Recovering Damages After a Teen Driver Accident
On top of being less experienced drivers, teen drivers tend to be more easily distracted while driving. The Mississippi Department of Transportation reported that “for drivers 15-19 years old involved in fatal crashes, 21% were distracted by the use of cell phones.” Being injured by a teenager may have you worried about the likelihood of recovering damages. If the teen driver is covered under their parent’s insurance policy, you may be able to recover damages. In order to do so, you must establish the teen driver’s negligence via a preponderance of the evidence – which is another way of saying that you must establish that the teen driver was more than likely driving unsafely and that their failure to act reasonably resulted in your injuries.
One way to recover damages is to prove negligent entrustment. Under this doctrine, the injured victim may hold the owner of the car accountable for the injuries and damages brought about by the teen driver. A negligent entrustment claim is generally found when a parent has entrusted a vehicle to a teen driver who is clearly unfit to drive, incompetent, or dangerous behind the wheel of a vehicle. An example of this could be a parent tasking their teen driver who just had eye surgery and cannot see that well with going to the grocery store at night, and the teen driver hits a car because they couldn’t see the stop sign. Another example could be a parent allowing their teen driver to drive the family vehicle even though the teen driver has a history of driving while intoxicated.
What if a teen driver with a history of alcohol abuse takes the keys to the family vehicle, drives off, and gets into a car accident? Is the parent liable then? Well it depends on whether or not the parent took reasonable actions to stop or prevent the child from driving the car. If the parent did not take reasonable actions, they could be liable for the teenager’s negligence under a theory of negligent supervision. For example, if the parent just left the keys on the coffee table where the alcohol-abusing teen driver could get them, then the parent could be liable. When it comes to knowing which theory of liability to invoke for your case, it pays to have an NST attorney on your side.
Consult an Experienced Tupelo Attorney for Your Motor Vehicle Collision Case
Teen driver accidents can result in more than just a wreck – they can result in tragedy for all involved. If you are the injured victim of a teen driver accident in Tupelo, the attorneys at Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz are ready to assist you. We can be reached 24/7 to discuss your case, and we are available to meet with you at a location of your choice. Call Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz at 800-LAW-4004 or complete our online form for a free appointment. to go.