Teenagers are among one of the highest-risk groups of drivers on the road. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers across the nation. Teenagers are more likely to make irrational decisions, and due to their lack of experience, are almost three times as likely to be involved in a car accident when compared to drivers over the age of 20. So, who is held liable for damages in a teenage car accident? Today, we review this answer and what you need to know about car accidents and teens.
Can a Parent Be Held Liable for a Car Accident Caused by a Teen?
Florida is a no-fault state, so each driver will file a claim with their own insurance company under their Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. PIP covers parents, their children, and certain passengers in the event of a car accident. In a minor car accident, you do not need to worry about fault as the other driver will not be able to sue you, the parent, or your teenager.
However, if the car accident caused severe injuries, like catastrophic injuries, amputations, and serious scarring, the other driver could file a personal injury claim against your teenager and your insurance company. Whether the driver is a teenager or an adult, he/she will be given a certain percentage of fault for the accident. If this happens, you as the parent may need to help support your teen financially if your teenager is under the age of 18.
When you allow your teenager to get their driver’s license, you agree to be held financially responsible for their actions until the age of 18. Therefore, you will likely be held responsible for any out-of-pocket expenses or increases in insurance premiums because of the claim.
Does an Insurance Claims Process Differ for Teenagers?
Teenagers must go through the same insurance claims process as adults when they are involved in a car accident. It is important to note that a teenager will need to be listed on a parent’s car insurance plan or get their own. The state of Florida requires that a teenager have liability insurance to drive.
Teenage Drivers and Car Insurance
If you are a parent with a new teenager driver, you probably have a lot of questions about insurance. You either need to include your teen on your car insurance policy or provide them with their own. It is often less expensive to include your teenager driver on your existing insurance policy.
If your teenager was found at fault in a car accident, contact us to schedule a free consultation. You can call us at (941) 960-7225 or contact us online.