Inexperienced driver accidents continue to be a serious problem in Los Angeles and throughout the United States. When a driver lacks experience and skill, he or she may be less likely to drive safely and free from distractions. Inexperienced drivers may not know how to react to dangerous road conditions to prevent auto accidents.
When an inexperienced or young driver acts negligently or recklessly and causes an accident, the resulting injuries can be catastrophic. If you or your loved one have been seriously injured in an accident caused by an inexperienced driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Under California law, car accident victims can pursue compensation for their medical expenses, lost income, property damage, and other damages. Contact Saeedian Law Group to schedule a free initial case evaluation.
Inexperienced Teenage Drivers
Teenage drivers may be able to pass a driver’s license examination, but that doesn’t mean they have enough experience to drive safely. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), teen motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. The risk of motor vehicle accidents is higher among teenagers aged 16 to 19 than among any other age group. Teenage drivers between 16 and 19 have a fatal crash rate nearly three times as high as drivers 20 and older.
Inexperience is a significant factor in teenage driving accidents. For example, teenagers are less likely than more experienced drivers to underestimate dangerous situations or not be able to recognize them at all. Additionally, teenagers are more likely than older drivers to make critical errors that can lead to devastating accidents.
Common Factors in Inexperienced Driver Accidents
Distracted driving is a major contributing factor and inexperienced driver accidents. New drivers may need to understand the danger of distracted driving fully, or they may ignore those dangers. Distracted driving can include talking to passengers, texting, watching videos, and eating and drinking while driving.
Additionally, Inexperienced drivers may be overconfident and have a false sense of safety. A false sense of security could lead them to ignore the dangers of reckless driving and engage in reckless behaviors like speeding and failure to use traffic signals. Inexperienced drivers may be more likely to ignore traffic signals. Other factors that contribute to inexperienced driver accidents include the following:
- Tunnel vision
- Insufficient reaction time
- Untrained observational skills
- Lack of confidence in maneuvers
- Inability to anticipate other driver’s next maneuvers
These are just some of the many risk factors associated with inexperienced driver accidents. When drivers don’t have experience, they may not know how to handle a vehicle and a risky driving situation in a way that prevents a car accident.
Injuries Experienced in Inexperienced Driver Accidents
The circumstances of the car accident will determine how severely those involved will be injured. Drivers who lack experience may cause different types of car accidents that would be unusual for seasoned motorists. Teenage drivers are more likely than seasoned drivers to drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs and neglect to wear safety belts. All of these factors can result in severe injuries for the inexperienced driver and others involved, including the following:
- Head and neck trauma
- Severe burn injuries
- Broken bones
- Herniated discs
- Loss of limb/amputation
- Nerve damage
- Orthopedic injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Rib fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
Can Parents Be Sued for Injuries Caused By Their Teen Driver?
In California, victims of car accidents caused by teenagers may have a right to hold their parents financially responsible for their injuries. California Vehicle Code 17707 VC makes a parent liable for his or her child’s negligent driving. This section of the law also makes a parent liable for any damages caused by his or her minor child in an automobile accident. When a parent signs a consent form to allow his or her minor child to drive, the parent can be held vicariously liable for his or her child’s actions while driving. According to the legal theory of vicarious liability, a party can be held financially reliable for an injury, even though he or she didn’t cause the injury.
As a result, even though the parent did not cause the accident, the victim of the teenage car accident can hold the parents jointly inseparably liable. The victim can pursue a claim against the child, the parent, or both. The injured victim will still need to prove that the teenage driver’s negligence caused the accident and that he or she suffered damages because of the accident. Parents can challenge the assumption of parental liability pursuant to Vehicle Code 17707. Parents are also vicariously liable for injuries caused by their teenager’s willful driving misconduct.
Recovering Compensation After an Inexperienced Driver Accident
Inexperienced drivers can be more likely to cause devastating car accidents. When drivers are reckless or driving while under the influence of alcohol, they may travel at excessive speeds. The force of impact of the collision can be more severe when one or both drivers are using high speeds or when one driver is engaging in seriously reckless behavior. For example, when a negligent driver causes a head-on collision, the driver and passengers may suffer catastrophic injuries like spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries.
Catastrophic injuries can result in hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in medical expenses over a person’s lifetime. For example, suppose a victim experiences a spinal cord injury and becomes partially or paralyzed. In that case, he or she may need rehabilitation, surgery, occupational and physical therapy, and ongoing assisted living care. Pursuing a lawsuit against the inexperienced driver or his or her parents give victims the opportunity to recover their medical expenses and other damages, such as:
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity due to disability
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Physical impairment (such as the loss of the use of a limb or organ)
- Loss of life enjoyment
Contact a Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney
Have you or your loved one been seriously injured in an accident caused by an inexperienced driver? If so, working with an experienced car accident attorney will benefit you. Contact the skilled personal injury attorneys at Saeedian Law Group to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.