Are Teen Drivers Treated Differently in NYC Car Accident Claims?
Teen drivers have not had their licenses for long and are largely less experienced than more senior drivers on the road. As such, accidents are more likely when a teen is behind the wheel. While courts might show some leniency under certain circumstances, teen drivers are not entitled to special treatment.
Car accident cases involving teen drivers are handled more or less the same as any other car accident claims. The fact that the person behind the wheel was a teenager is not usually considered a mitigating or aggravating factor. Generally, courts are not more lenient simply because someone is a teen, but the driver’s lack of experience might be considered under certain circumstances. If a teen driver is found liable for causing an accident and injuries, they usually must cover damages like everyone else. If your teenager is involved in an accident, contact an attorney for help right away.
If you have a teenager who was involved in a collision, call our NYC car accident lawyers at The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083 and schedule a confidential initial case review for no charge.
How Car Accidents Involving Teen Drivers in NYC Are Handled
Accidents involving teen drivers are not unusual. Since teenage drivers are less experienced than adults, accidents involving teens tend to be more likely. Accident claims involving teenage drivers are handled largely the same as any other car accident claims. Just because the driver involved is a teenager does not mean the case receives special treatment or damages are affected.
If a teenage driver injures you, you can sue them for damages. People sometimes mistakenly assume you cannot sue minors, but this is untrue. Many people also mistakenly assume you can only sue the teenage driver’s parents. This is also not true. However, the driver’s parents might be implicated and named in the lawsuit under certain circumstances. For example, if the teen did not have a license and their parents knowingly let them drive anyway, the parents might be to blame and named in your claim.
If you are a teenager or have a teenage child injured in a car accident caused by another driver, you can file a claim against the other driver. Often, minors have trouble filing lawsuits independently, and a parent or guardian might need to file the case on the teen’s behalf. If there is no parent or guardian, the court might appoint one for the purpose of the claim. The case will not be treated differently than any other case involving adult parties.
Are Courts More Lenient on Teen Drivers in Car Accident Cases in NYC?
People sometimes think that courts treat cases involving teenage drivers with more leniency. This is not true. Courts strive to treat every case with impartiality. Unless there is a good reason based in law to show leniency, a claim will not be given special treatment merely because the driver involved is a teenager.
This means that if a teenager sues for damages, the court will not be more inclined to side with them because they are so young. By the same token, courts will not be more inclined to rule against a teenage defendant simply because of their age and lack of experience on the road.
Even so, while courts are supposed to remain impartial, it can be difficult in certain cases. For example, suppose a teenage driver is accused of doing something reckless behind the wheel, like street racing. In that case, a court might subconsciously assume the teen is liable because teens are often associated with youthful, reckless behavior.
If you find yourself in this position, you should get an attorney. If there is any hint that the court might not be as impartial as it should be, our Queens car accident attorneys will assert your rights and protect you.
Are Teen Drivers Expected to Pay Damages in NYC Car Accident Claims?
One important question surrounding car accident claims involving teen drivers is about who pays damages. It is likely that teenage drivers do not have much in the way of money or assets to pay for significant damages if they are sued in a lawsuit. As such, they rely on insurance to cover the costs of compensation. However, plaintiffs might run into trouble if the teenage defendant lacks the money to pay and is uninsured.
Courts are prepared to handle situations where defendants are liable but insolvent. Courts have been known to place liens on properties belonging to defendants who cannot or will not pay a judgment. They can also garnish wages.
Another legal option your attorney can help you with is getting compensation through your own insurance. You might not need to sue an insolvent teen driver if you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. Talk to your attorney about how to handle such a situation.
What Should I Do if My Teen is Involved in a Car Accident in NYC?
You should hire an attorney immediately if you have a teenager at home who was involved in an accident. Do not allow your teen to talk to or be questioned by anyone without your or their lawyer present. Teenagers can be easily pressured into admitting fault when they are not to blame. An attorney can advise you and your teen of their rights and protect their legal interests.
You should also review your insurance details with your attorney. Some parents are shocked to learn that their auto insurance does not cover their child as they thought. Since New York is a no-fault insurance state, drivers file claims with their own insurance providers. This means you probably do not have to worry about a third-party claim from the other driver. Still, you want to make sure your insurance covers your child.
Finally, talk to your teen about how the accident happened. It is possible they were not at fault, and the other driver is to blame. Drivers sometimes try to intimidate younger drivers into admitting fault when really the other driver caused the crash. Do not allow your teen to fall victim to this scam. Call a lawyer right away.
Call Our NYC Car Accident Lawyers for Help Now
If you have a teenager who was involved in a collision, call our Brooklyn car accident attorneys at The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083 and set up a private initial case review for no charge.