Injuries Caused by Teen Driver, Now What

Injuries Caused by Teen Driver, Now What

Teenage Car Accident Statistics

The risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among teens ages 16–19 than among any other age group. Teen drivers in this age group have a fatal crash rate almost three times as high as drivers ages 20 and older per mile driven.

Teens who are at especially high risk for motor vehicle crashes include:


The motor vehicle crash death rate for male drivers ages 16–19 years was three times as high as the death rate for female drivers in the same age group in 2020.

Teens Driving with Teen or Young Adult Passengers

The presence of teen or young adult passengers increases the crash risk of unsupervised teen drivers. This risk increases with each additional teen or young adult passenger.

Newly Licensed Teens

Crash risk is particularly high during the first months of licensure.5–7 For example, data indicate that the crash rate per mile driven is about 1.5 times as high for 16-year-old drivers as it is for 18–19-year-old drivers.

Have you been involved in an accident with a teenage driver? Are you unsure of how you can recover compensation for your injuries? Working with an experienced car accident attorney can help you to navigate this complicated legal issue.

Parent/Guardian Liability for Teen Drivers’ Accidents

In certain situations, the teen’s parents or legal guardians could also be liable for the damages resulting from their teen’s car accident. The exact theory for imposing this liability will depend on the circumstances of the accident and the state in which it occurred. But in general, this kind of parental liability crops up in one of three ways.

Negligent Entrustment

Under this legal theory, a parent/guardian can be liable when their teen causes a car accident, if the parent knew or should have known that the teen represented a special danger to others on the road, and failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the teen from driving or otherwise lessen the risk of harm.

Vicarious Liability for a Child’s Actions

Some states have passed laws specifically holding parents and legal guardians liable for injuries, property damage, and other losses when their minor child’s action causes harm to someone else.

In the car accident context in particular, depending on the state or jurisdiction, this type of liability may sometimes be referred to as the “family use” or “family purpose” doctrine. Under this theory parents can be liable if their teen driver causes a car accident while pursuing any family “purpose” or “use.” Generally speaking, this purpose can be almost anything, as long as the parent has control over the teen driver’s use of the vehicle.

For instance, if the parent asks the teen driver to make a quick run to the grocery store to pick up some milk, the parent could be liable if the teen driver causes an accident during this errand. The parent might still be liable even if, rather than going to the store, the teen driver takes a high-speed cruise around the neighborhood and gets into an accident.

Driving Privilege Application Liability

Some states require parents/guardians of new teen drivers to assume their minor child’s liability if the child is responsible for causing a car accident. The parents/guardians usually assume this kind of liability when they sign their child’s driver’s license application.

In California, for example, a parent or guardian of a minor driver can be liable for all foreseeable injuries, property damage, and other losses if they loan the teen their car and the teen ends up causing a car accident.

A Parent/Guardian’s Car Insurance Likely Covers a Teen Driver

For the most part, as long as the teen driver has a driver’s license, the parents have properly added their child to their car insurance policy, and there are adequate policy limits in place, it might not matter who’s legally liable after a accident, at least from a financial perspective. This is because the car insurance company will pay out damages resulting from an accident, up to policy limits.

One exception to this general rule is if the teen driver’s wrongdoing isn’t negligent, but criminal. All car insurance policies will exclude from coverage any claim resulting from the criminal act of an insured. Learn more about what drivers and vehicles are covered under a car insurance policy.

Spanish Speaking Car Accident Lawyer in Houston, Texas

Spanish-speaking individuals can have a more difficult time seeking justice in their personal injury cases due to language barriers. This causes them to not take action against those who have left them with financial devastation and physical trauma. At the Law Office of Beverly R. Caruthers, our team refuses to let a language barrier affect your right to justice and compensation. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident and is in need of Spanish-speaking legal advice, our team is here for you.

Personal Injury Lawyer in Houston, Texas

If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident and suffered an injury, experienced loss of income, or are unable to work due to a car accident, you can benefit from the services of a Houston car accident expert in your personal injury case. Whether you missed work due to an injury or due to not having access to a vehicle, Attorney Beverly R. Caruthers can help you!


Beverly R Caruthers Law Office
Address: 4141 Southwest Fwy, Suite 620
Houston, TX 77027
(713) 526-9557
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