Teen Driver Accidents
Car accidents are more likely to involve a teen driver than someone in any other age group. The inexperience and carelessness of a very young person behind the wheel can be a dangerous combination and lead to devastating injuries. The motor vehicle collision lawyers at the Law Offices have experience representing victims throughout Miami and the surrounding area who have been hurt by an irresponsible driver. With clients throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties, we are dedicated to helping you seek proper compensation from those responsible for your injuries.Dangers Posed by Teen Drivers in Florida
The majority of teen driver accidents are the result of critical errors, including driving too fast for conditions or being distracted by something in the vehicle or outside it. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, in 2012, teen drivers were involved in over 34,000 crashes in the state. In addition, teenagers aged 16 and 17 are the most at risk of being in a fatal collision. Sixteen-year-old drivers have a crash rate of 15 times that of drivers who have more years of driving experience.
Florida follows a graduated licensing system in order to counteract the problems that accompany teens’ inexperience on the road. This system requires young drivers to meet certain requirements before entering the next stage of the licensing process. The first stage is a Learner’s License, which is required for all new drivers, whereby they are not permitted to drive alone. Those under 18 years old must have a Learner’s License for one year before they may continue to the next stage. Sixteen-year-olds and 17-year-olds are then able to take the test to receive an Operator’s License, whereby the driver is not allowed to drive alone between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m., subject to certain exceptions. A Full License then may be issued to those 18 years and older.File a Negligence Claim to Pursue Damages
Regardless of age, drivers who cause an accident can be held liable for their careless actions. To show that a certain individual was negligent, a victim must establish that:
- He or she was owed a duty of care;
- That duty was breached by the defendant, usually another driver;
- The breach caused the injuries; and
- Damages resulted.
All drivers owe a duty to other motorists to act as a reasonable and prudent person would behave in similar circumstances. Teen drivers may breach this duty, for example, by speeding or failing to assess road dangers properly. Additionally, a teen driver could be found negligent per se, which means as a matter of law. In these instances, an individual has violated a statute that is intended to protect a certain group of people from a certain type of harm. Drunk driving laws are designed to protect other motorists on the road. If an underage driver causes an accident while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, an injured person could file a claim based on the negligence per se. However, he or she still would need to show the causation and damages elements, since this rule substitutes only for the elements of duty and breach.
An injured person who has shown negligence or negligence per se may receive damages for past and future medical costs, lost wages and earning capacity, property damage, and pain and suffering. Collisions involving teen drivers can often be serious, and they may even lead to a fatality. Where a death occurs, family members of the deceased person can file a wrongful death claim seeking damages for funeral or burial expenses.Discuss Your Car Accident Claim with a Fort Lauderdale Lawyer
If you have been injured in a collision near Fort Lauderdale involving a teen driver, the car accident attorneys at the Law Offices can help you with your case. We assist victims throughout Florida with negligence claims, seeking to make sure that those responsible are held liable. Call (877) 499-4878 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation.