Teenagers count the days until they can get their driver’s license, nut they tend to be inexperienced and immature road users. This increases their risk of causing or being in a car accident. These accidents may cause serious injuries that can leave you with medical bills and other expenses.
If you or your loved one was injured because of a teen driving accident, you might be entitled to compensation. At George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, our North Charleston teen driving accident lawyer can evaluate your case’s details and guide you as you pursue your legal options.
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Causes of Teen Driving Accidents
According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), young drivers cause a disproportionately high number of serious car accidents, considering they account for just 6.7 percent of all drivers. In 2017 alone, 3,255 teen drivers were involved in fatal car crashes.
Teenage driving isn’t bad or wrong in and of itself. However, teens’ youth and inexperience on the road, coupled with their false bravado, increases the chances of them being in or causing car accidents.
The following are some reasons why teen driving accidents are disproportionately high compared to the number of teen drivers on our roads:
Teens are more likely to get into car accidents within the first year of getting their license, especially if they are driving unsupervised. Inexperienced drivers may be nervous, causing them to make mistakes or fail to respond to different road situations. They are likely to drive even worse in adverse conditions, such as at night and in bad weather or rough terrain.
Teen passengers increase a teenage driver’s chances of getting distracted and causing a car accident. The teen driver may engage in more risky behaviors like speeding or disregarding traffic signals because of peer influence.
In South Carolina, the law recognizes the dangers of having teens riding together without supervision. New drivers have conditional licenses (ages 15-16); they are restricted from having more than two passengers under age 21 unless they are driving to school or have an older licensed driver riding with them.
Generally, nighttime accidents occur more frequently than daytime accidents. For teen drivers, nighttime driving is challenging considering their inexperience. Because of this, the SC Department of Motor Vehicles restricts teenage nighttime driving without an older licensed driver with them.
Texting while driving is the most common negligent teenage driving hazard, but many other distractions affect teenagers. They are more prone to eating, putting on makeup, changing music, talking to passengers, or looking around when driving.
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Parents’ Role in Teen Driving
South Carolina created the graduated license policy to minimize the risks associated with teen driving. Teens who are ages 15 and 16 begin with conditional or restricted licenses. The teen and their parents/guardians must practice safe driving for the restrictions to be lifted over time.
Parents must not neglect their all-important duty of preparing their teens for a lifetime of safe driving. It is critical to communicate safe driving rules and ensure that your child has the car back home within limits set by their licenses. In the event of a car accident, depending on the specifics, a parent could be held liable if a plaintiff proves that the parent knowingly allowed a teen to drive outside their restricted license conditions.
If you or your loved one was hurt because of an accident involving a teen driver, our North Charleston teen driving accident lawyer could help you review your options for legal recourse.
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Evidence for Liability in a Teen Driving Accident
South Carolina is an at-fault state, which means a claimant must show that the at-fault driver was negligent in the events that caused the accident. This is also true if you choose to file a civil suit to recover damages. In both cases, our personal injury lawyers in North Charleston could collect the following evidence to build a strong case:
- Accident scene photos
- Official police reports
- Eyewitness statements
- Medical records
- Black box data from both cars
- Telephone records
- Video surveillance footage if available, among others
You have the option to consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after you are in stable condition. We often advise our clients who are not severely injured to take photos of the car damage (both cars) and their injuries as well as injuries of their passengers at the accident scene.
If you can, please ask for contact information from bystanders who can provide eyewitness accounts of the events leading to the accident. This evidence could be critical to building a strong case.
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Damages and Statute of Limitations
In South Carolina, there is a statute of limitations that determines how long you have to file a lawsuit. By consulting with us early, we can advise you regarding the steps to take after being in a car accident. If your claim is successful, you could receive compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses, present, and future
- Final expenses (for wrongful death)
- Lost income/wages
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish or emotional distress
- Other economic or noneconomic damages that apply to your case
North Charleston Teen Driving Accident Lawyer
If you or your loved one has been injured in a teen driving accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation. Our North Charleston teen driving accident lawyer can help you understand how the law applies to your case’s specifics and the legal avenues open to you.
If you wish to learn more about your options after a car accident injury, contact George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers. You can schedule a free and confidential consultation at your earliest convenience.
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