An Inexperienced or Teen Driver
Accidents happen. Whether you have been driving for 40 years or you just started out. It is important to ensure that the learning driver has covered under insurance. In Ohio, all drivers are required to have liability insurance at bare minimum. If the driver with a learner’s permit is a teen who still lives with their parents, the parents can just add them to their existing insurance policy. It is essential to make sure that the learning driver is added to the policy before they get behind the wheel. If you are not covered, then you can get a standalone policy for your teen. Whatever you choose, make sure that the insurance is in place before allowing the teen driver behind the wheel.
If your teen is in a car accident there are certain important things that you must teach your child about accidents. It is very important that they pull over as close to the accident scene that is safely possible. The police are not obligated to attend to an accident scene if no one is injured. However, if someone is injured it is important for them to call the emergency medical services as soon as possible. If they are unable to make the call themselves, teach them to ask a bystander to make the call.
It is quite an experience if you are in your first car accident. Most teen drivers freak out, mostly thinking what would their parents say if they find out about the crash. It is usually during this freak out that they do not think straight and do things that they would otherwise not. Teach your child that it is fine to be in an accident. No matter the cause of the accident, they must never fear you or be scared of telling you. If you feel that they want to freak out, teach them to take a breath and focus. After the emergency services, you must be their second call. Remember when your teen driver phones with the news, you must remain calm. If you freak out, they will freak out. Guide them through the process.
It is important that after emergency services have been called, they must phone the insurance company and inform them of the accident. However, teach your child the golden rule to never admit fault at an accident scene, which for some children may come quite natural. In Ohio, the driver at fault is responsible for the damages. They must only get the information from the other driver. Teach them to ask for contact details such as telephone numbers, home addresses, and emails. They must take photographs of all the vehicles involved as well as from different angles. It sometimes happens that the other driver freaks out when they realize that they were involved in an accident with a teen driver or learning driver. If your teen driver feels threaten at any stage after the accident, they have the right to phone the police.
Teach your teen driver to take photos of their surroundings as well, traffic signs, road markings anything that they deem important. It might seem unimportant at the time but might come in handy at a later stage, especially if there is litigation involved.
The important information for them to take down is names, surnames, telephone numbers, vehicle registration numbers, insurance information. Luckily, it is very easy to take a voice note from the other driver; there is no need to write everything down. Every single teen driver owns some sort of smart device, and everything that they need to save the information is available on the device. If the emergency services are at the scene, they must take down the information of the first responders as well. They must remember to take down vehicle numbers as well. If it happens that they can’t take down the first responders’ information, taking a photo where the vehicle number is clearly visible will help just as much. The vehicles are signed out daily by the first responders; you will thus be able to track the first responders involved.
It is extremely important that you teach your child to never speak on the scene of an accident if it is not necessary. Things like “I was texting” or “I didn’t see you” can be used against them at a later stage. People tend to try to take advantage of younger drivers and to intimidate them.
When do you need to call your lawyer?
When your teen driver is in an accident, they must phone your lawyer immediately. Whether they were at fault or not. If it is possible, the lawyer must attend the accident scene, especially if someone got hurt or died during the crash. When your teen starts driving it is a good idea to go and introduce them to the family’s attorney. It will give them more confidence to phone the lawyer when the need arises. Rather let them phone the lawyer than not. Tell them it is important to notify the attorney if they feel intimidated or threatened. If they can take a video during the after math of the accident they must do so. The legal team will be able to use this.
What will happen to the teen driver?
In most states, such as Ohio, the accident must be reported to the DMV. The teen will probably lose their driving privileges. This is not the end of the driving road for them, rather take the opportunity to teach them about safe driving and consequences. They must not lose the confidence to drive. It is traumatic to be in an accident, no matter the size or who was at fault. Ask your attorney for a referral to a medical specialist, especially if you notice that your teen is suffering from the accident.
My teen driver was involved in an accident, now what?
The most important thing is to stay calm. If your teen is hurt, go to the hospital where they are taken. If there are no injuries, then you can make certain important calls. Even if you teach your teen driver to contact the insurance company, you can also need to make the call. In fact, it is better to inform them twice, than not at all. Your next call should be to an experienced automobile collision lawyer.
You could go to the scene of the accident, but if you do, keep your composure throughout your time on the scene. When emotions run high people say and do things that they will regret later. When you speak to an experienced lawyer, ask whether it is a good idea to go to the scene. They will be able to advise you in the correct direction.
If you or your child has been in an auto accident, do not hesitate to contact the experienced attorneys at the Chester Law Group in Toledo, Ohio, today to schedule your consultation.