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If Your Teenage Driver Was in a Car Accident, What Can You Do to Look Out for Their Interests?

It is every parent’s nightmare to get a phone call from their teenager saying they have been involved in a car accident. Here is how you can support your teen through the aftermath. 

  1. Stay calm. Easier said than done, we know, but the calmer you are, the easier it will be for you to help your child navigate what may be a traumatic and confusing experience for them.   
  2. Make sure your teen is in a safe place and has moved out of the way of traffic. 
  3. Make sure your teen calls 911. Not all injuries are immediately apparent, especially brain injuries, so obtaining medical care is vital. Make sure to monitor your teenager over the coming months because soft tissue damage takes longer to manifest in teens and they may have fewer symptoms than adults. 

Encourage your teen to wait as long as they can for the police to arrive on the scene, but not to delay medical treatment. It is important for them to get a police report if possible. If you need to pursue legal action later or challenge the insurance settlement, a police report can be a valuable tool.  

If the other party is injured, leaving the scene of an accident before the police arrive can have serious legal repercussions for your teenager, even if your child is not the at fault driver. 

In the event the police do not come to the scene, they can use this link to report the accident:

https://dmv.colorado.gov/report-accident
  1. Make sure your teen knows they should refrain from conversing with the other driver. With the exception of checking to see if the other party needs medical attention and the exchange of  names, insurance information, and licenses, it is best not to engage the other driver in conversation to avoid confrontation and to avoid making any statements that could be interpreted as admitting fault. 
  2. 5. Tell them to document the accident as best they can. Important information includes dates, times, names and contact information of witnesses, and the location of the accident. Tell them to take pictures of the cars and the scene of the accident, including any skid marks. You should also make sure they take pictures of any physical injuries they have, such as bruising. 
  3. Reach out to an attorney following the accident. After seeking medical treatment, reporting the accident, and informing your insurance, it is important to seek legal advice. Even for adults, dealing with insurance companies and adverse parties can be a confusing and frustrating process. Once you retain legal counsel, the insurance company must communicate with you through your attorney, which means the attorney can make sure the insurance company is acting in your best interest. Hiring legal counsel maximizes your chances of getting the best settlement possible and ensures your teen will be protected. 

What to Expect From Hiring an attorney. 

We frequently work with families who are pursuing legal action on behalf of their children. Because your child is a minor and cannot enter into contracts, the parent or guardian must authorize any legal action. That being said, even though the parent must legally take certain actions on behalf of their child, by law, it is the child who is the client. That means that some communications may be privileged between the attorney and the teen and that we will seek the best possible outcome for your child. This arrangement can seem strange at first, but we are experienced in helping families navigate this difficult process.

Are You Liable for Your Teenager’s Car Accident? 

Every driver in the state of Colorado is required to have insurance, but a minor is unable to enter into a contract and purchase insurance without a parent. This means parents either have to add their child to their own policy or co-sign for their teenager on a separate policy.  In Colorado, a parent can be held liable for those costs that insurance does not cover if their teen is at fault. Also, under the Family Car Doctrine, the head of a household may be liable for negligence if their teenager was driving the family car for family purposes and had permission on that occasion to drive it.  

Make Sure Your Teenager Is Prepared Ahead of Time 

Many problems that arise after a car collision can be avoided or lessened by teaching your teenager what to do in the event of an accident before one ever occurs. You can help prepare them by giving them a checklist to keep in the car of things to do in the event of a collision. Make sure they keep pens and paper in the car in the event their phone is damaged so they can still document the accident. Make sure their insurance information and registration are in their car. Teach them good driving habits and how to deescalate confrontational interactions.

Help your teen keep track of all their records 

In the event you need to file a personal injury suit on their behalf or need to challenge the insurance settlement, having records such as police reports, correspondence with their insurance company, and medical records will be extremely helpful. This includes any bills, medical procedures, medications, and prescribed treatments, including chiropractors and acupuncturists.

A Colorado law firm that puts people first. Your case matters

We’re ready and eager to tackle whatever tough personal injury issue you’re dealing with in Denver and all of Colorado. Your case matters here.

Toll-Free:

(303)795-5900

Denver:

Bell & Pollock, P.C.

7555 E Hampden Ave #200
Denver, CO 80231

Local:

(800) 559-5920

Steamboat Springs:

Bell & Pollock, P.C.
505 Anglers Dr #104
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

Local:

(970) 870-8989

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