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What to Do if Your Teen Gets into a Car Accident

teen driver distracted

Teenage drivers are disproportionately more likely to be involved in a crash, with the crash rate for drivers aged 16-19 three times higher than older drivers. 3,058 teenagers were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2021, compared to 2,800 in 2020, with two-thirds of them male.

As a parent, the thought of your teenager getting into an car accident is terrifying. If your teen is ever in a car crash, it's important to know the steps to take to ensure their safety and protect their rights. The Miami car accident attorneys at Shaked Law, share with us eight steps to ensure your teens' safety and protect their rights if ever involved in a motor vehicle accident.

Remain Calm and Get to a Safe Location

The first and most important step is to remain as calm as possible. Take a deep breath and make sure your teen is safe. If possible, move the vehicles to a safe location out of oncoming traffic, such as a parking lot or side street. Turn on the hazard lights to alert other drivers.

Assess Injuries and Call for Medical Assistance

Carefully check on your teen and any other passengers to see if anyone is injured. Even if the injuries seem minor, it's crucial to call 911 and request emergency medical assistance. 17% of all traumatic brain injuries are caused by car accidents and the damage is not always apparent. Do not try to move someone who is seriously injured, as you could worsen their condition.

Contact the Police

You will need to report the accident to the police. Provide them with details about the location, the vehicles involved, and any injuries. Be prepared to share your insurance information as well. Get the name and badge number of the responding officer, as you may need this information later.

Record the Accident Scene

Visual documentation of the accident scene can be extremely helpful if you want to pursue legal action. Make notes about the weather conditions, time of day, and any other relevant details.

Exchange Information with the Other Driver

Gather the name, contact information, driver's license number, license plate, and insurance details of the other driver or drivers involved. Be sure to tell your teen not to admit fault or make any statements about the accident to the other driver.

Speak to a Car Accident Lawyer

It’s vital that you contact a car accident lawyer so your teen’s rights are protected. Liability is not always clear-cut and insurance companies may try to lowball you. Car accident lawyers are on your side and will fight for the compensation your teen deserves if the accident was not their fault.

Notify Your Insurance Provider

Once you have spoken to an attorney, contact your auto insurance company to report the accident. Provide them with the details you have gathered, including the police report number. Your insurance provider can guide you through the claims process.

Support Your Teen Emotionally

Being in a car accident, even a minor one, can be a traumatic experience for a teenager. Studies have shown around 9% of people suffer from PTSD after a car crash. Offer your teen emotional support and reassurance. Encourage them to talk about their feelings and let them know you are there for them.

By following these steps, you can help ensure your teen's safety and protect their rights in the aftermath of a car accident. With the right support, your teen can recover both physically and emotionally from this difficult situation.