Sadly, motor vehicle crashes are cited as the leading cause of death for U.S teens, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Teenagers between the ages of 16-19 are more likely to be involved in a car crash than any other age group, and three times more likely to be in a fatal crash than drivers aged 20 or over.
While this makes for grim reading, it is essential to be aware of your rights if you are involved in a car accident involving a young teenage driver, especially if you sustained injuries, as you could be entitled to compensation.
A Springfield teen driving accident lawyer can help you understand your legal options and help you recover damages you may be entitled to from your personal injuries. For a free case review, reach out to an experienced motor vehicle collision attorney at our firm.
Teenage Driving Risk Factors
While many teenage drivers want to stay safe on the roads, not all show responsibility or follow the rules. Negligent driving is not only dangerous for other motorists; it is a risk for passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists, as well as to the young driver.
Teen drivers are more likely to get into accidents than adult drivers due to their lack of experience behind the wheel, but other common causes include:
When another person’s negligence causes you or your loved one injury, you can hold the responsible party accountable and pursue compensation for the economic and non-economic damages relating to the accident. Sadly, victims are often left with severe and debilitating injuries that change the way they live forever. Examples include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Permanent scarring
- Loss of limbs
- Internal bleeding
- Spinal cord injury
A teen driving accident attorney at The Kryder Law Group, LLC, can help you pursue compensation to help with the car accident’s financial impact.
Illinois Teen Driving Laws
As a means to ensure teen drivers achieve sufficient experience behind the wheel while learning to drive, Illinois has implemented laws that restrict their driving privileges initially. The restrictions are gradually eased as the teen gains more experience until they acquire a full driver’s license at the age of 18. As per the guidelines from the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State, driver’s under the age of 18:
- Have a night driving ban (although exceptions apply).
- Cannot have more than one passenger under the age of 20 in the car (siblings or children do not count towards the limit).
- Are not permitted to use a cellphone, even if it is hands-free (applies to all drivers under the age of 19).
If you have been involved in an accident involving a young driver, a Springfield teen driving accident attorney can hold the negligent parties responsible for your injuries and losses.
If you have any questions or concerns, a Springfield inexperienced driver collision attorney at our firm can answer them in a free case evaluation where you can find out more about your legal options for recovering compensation.
Insurance Laws and Negligence
Teenage drivers are typically covered under their parent’s auto insurance. For Illinois, the minimum liability coverage amount for a car accident is:
- $25,000 for bodily injuries per person
- $50,000 in total for bodily injuries or per accident
- $20,000 for property damage
Insurance companies follow a comparative negligence model to determine how much financial responsibility everyone involved in the accident will carry. This means if both drivers are proven to have contributed to the accident, they can recover compensation for their injuries as long one is not more than 50% at fault than the other, any higher, and recovery is barred for that person.
This is a hotly contested topic during settlement negotiations. One party may attempt to apportion more blame to the other in a bid to settle for less (a defense tactic commonly used by insurance companies). It is also an excellent example of why retaining a car accident attorney to protect your rights and ensure you are treated fairly could be beneficial to the negotiation outcome.
While some parents increase their insurance above the minimum when adding a teen driver, it may not be enough coverage for your needs if you are involved in an accident.
If you sustain serious injuries, such as those listed earlier, you may consider filing a personal injury lawsuit.
The simplest way to determine your legal options is to speak to a teen driving crash attorney in Springfield who can advise on a suitable way to proceed with a personal injury claim, depending on your circumstances.
Possible Recoverable Damages Following a Crash Caused by a Teenage Driver
The compensation you could be awarded will vary depending on the details of the case, such as the severity of your injuries and other financial losses. However, below is a list of possible recoverable damages to give you an idea of the awards available for:
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation costs
- Pain and suffering
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Wrongful death
If you are considering pursuing a personal injury claim, you should be aware of the time you have to act per the Illinois statute of limitations. This law is effectively a deadline of two years, after which it is unlikely you will be able to initiate legal action.
Learn More About How a Teen Driving Accident Attorney Can Help You
If you have suffered personal injuries or lost a loved one in a teen driving accident, the responsive team at The Kryder Law Group, LLC, can provide effective legal counsel. We offer our support at this difficult time and aggressively pursue the compensation you deserve.
As well as helping you understand your legal options, if you decide to move forward with your claim, a Springfield teen driving accident lawyer will:
- Investigate the cause of the accident
- Gather essential evidence to establish liability
- Prove negligence
- Estimate the financial impact of the collision
- Negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf
- Review settlement offers for fairness
- Represent your best interests in court, where necessary
We offer our services on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not have to pay any costs until we achieve a verdict or settlement on your behalf. Call today to schedule your free consultation.