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Parents of teen drivers can be held responsible for car accidents

Given that over half of teen drivers in Massachusetts will have a car accident in their first two years behind the wheel, it is very important parents take responsibility for their teen drivers. Educating teen drivers about the responsibilities of operating a vehicle keeps the teen driver and other drivers safe. As a parent, responsibility exists for teen drivers, which includes fiscal responsibility if that teen is at fault in a car accident. Victims who suffer injuries in an accident with a negligent teenager may have recourse to seek civil compensation.

One of the first steps in a parent preparing their teen driver to get behind the wheel is adding them to their car insurance as soon as they acquire their license. Because insurance rates vary by state and take into consideration incidents on a driver's record, age and type of vehicle, this price could be quite steep. However, the cost of insurance does not come close to the price of paying for a lawsuit due to an uninsured teen driver's negligence in a car accident.

One of a teen's defining moments is stepping into his or her first car. For a teen, appearances may be important, but a parent's consideration is often something very different: safety. SUVs and smaller cars may not be a good choice due to safety concerns. Newer cars with air bags and anti-lock braking systems are usually going to be a better choice for a teen driver. Vehicles which tend to rollover or have fewer safety features can be a hazard for teen drivers as well as other drivers on the road.

Whenever teenagers in Massachusetts negligently cause an injury car accident, they and their parents could face legal claims if an accident victim pursues a personal injury case. In this type of lawsuit, a victim who is injured may be able to have their medical and related expenses covered. To succeed at such a lawsuit, an accident victim needs to have a clear understanding of the law and whether they may have a case against a teen driver and his or her parents if negligence played a role.

Source: Wicked Local Weston, "Advice for your teenage drivers," Dave D'Orlando, July 5, 2013

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