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Car Accidents / 2.23.2024

What to Do If Your Teen Is Involved in a Car Accident

Handling Teen Driver Car Accidents Throughout MS

There is no more terrifying feeling than receiving a call that your teenager has been injured in a car accident. Unfortunately, teen driver car accidents are common throughout the United States. Motor vehicle accidents remain a leading cause of death for teens across the country. Tragically, many of these deaths are preventable.

If your teenager has been injured in a car accident, you need to speak with an attorney. At Richard Schwartz & Associates, P.A., our injury lawyers will help you understand your teen’s rights after a car accident. We will guide you through the legal process and help you secure the largest possible recovery after an auto accident. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation. 

Heightened Dangers of Young Drivers

Young drivers are at an increased risk for serious death or injuries. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), the risk of being in an auto accident is higher among individuals between the ages of 16 and 19 compared to any other age group. The per-mile fatal crash rate of this age group is nearly 3x higher compared to drivers who are 20 or older. 

Notable Statistics

Each year, thousands of teenagers are killed, and hundreds of thousands of teens are injured in car accidents. Motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States. 

Teen driving facts and statistics:

  • Approximately 2,800 teenagers between the ages of 13 and 19 were killed in auto accidents in the U.S. in 2020. (CDC)
  • Around 227,000 teens were injured in motor vehicle accidents during 2020. (CDC)
  • In 2021, there was an 11% increase in the number of traffic-related fatalities among teens. (Insurance Information Institute)
  • There was a 7% increase in the number of young drivers injured in traffic crashes from 2020 to 2021. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
  • Each day, about 8 teens die in motor vehicle crashes. (CDC)
  • Male drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 have a death rate that is 3x higher than female drivers the same age. (CDC)
  • Half of all teenage motor vehicle crash deaths occurred on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. (CDC)

The statistics are devastating. While inexperience is one factor in many of these crashes, they are also caused by distraction, impairment, or negligence. Many teens report not wearing a seat belt while driving or driving while under the influence, presenting a risk to themselves and others.

Insurance Liability

If your child is injured in an accident, you may have the right to pursue a claim against an at-fault party’s insurance. Mississippi is a tort state, meaning individuals who sustain injury as a result of another person’s negligence may file a claim against that party’s insurance company. All motorists in Mississippi are required to carry liability insurance.

Mandatory minimum requirements for liability insurance in Mississippi:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 for property damage per accident

If the insurance company does not pay a full and fair settlement to cover your child’s injuries, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit. It is important to work with an auto accident attorney to determine the best course of action if your teen has been hurt in a crash. Whether they were injured because another teen was texting and driving, driving under the influence, or speeding, they may be entitled to damages.

At-Fault Versus No-Fault Accidents

There are 12 states that have no-fault insurance laws. In states with no-fault insurance systems, a person may file a claim for benefits against their own insurance regardless of fault. 

On the other hand, when accidents occur in an at-fault state, a party must pursue compensation from the party that caused the accident. Mississippi is an at-fault state. Teenagers injured in an accident must work to prove liability. If another party is responsible for the accident, they may be held liable for your teen’s injuries and accident-related losses.

Determining liability after an accident can be challenging. In some cases, it takes an in-depth investigation to determine who or what caused the accident. 

Comparative Fault Rules in Mississippi

If your teenager is injured in an auto accident, you may still be able to recover, even if they were partially to blame for the accident. Mississippi allows for injured parties to recover damages from another liable party even if their negligence contributed to the accident. Your teen’s recovery, however, may be reduced in proportion to their percentage of the fault. 

What To Do If Injuries Are Involved

If your child is injured in a Mississippi car accident, you need to consult with an attorney. The at-fault party’s insurance policy may cover your child’s damages, including their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. It is essential to act quickly as you may only have a limited amount of time to file a claim for damages.

Common injuries in auto accidents:

  • Broken bones
  • Concussions
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Sprains and strains
  • Disfigurement
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Cuts and lacerations

After any accident, it is essential to have your teenager evaluated by a medical professional. An examination can help determine whether your child was seriously injured in the crash. In some cases, your teen may be in shock and unable to determine the severity of their injuries on their own. A prompt medical evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment can help ensure that their injuries do not get worse.

Seek Legal Guidance

One of the most important things you can do after a car accident is to seek legal guidance. The attorneys at Richard Schwartz & Associates have a legacy of success. We have recovered over $1 billion on behalf of injury victims throughout Mississippi. Our legal team is experienced in handling even the most challenging cases. We simply will not give up. 

Consulting with an attorney as early in the process as possible can prove critical to your case. Without the help of an attorney, you could end up settling your teen’s case for less than it is worth. Insurance companies routinely try to downplay claims or deny them altogether, placing the blame for the accident on your young driver. Do not settle for less than your child’s case is worth. Get the legal guidance you need now.

Schwartz & Associates Injury Lawyers

Was your teenager injured in a motor vehicle accident in Mississippi? Our lawyers may be able to help them get the recovery they deserve. We have handled thousands of cases and will not rest until your child receives the best possible outcome. We have over 20 attorneys located across Mississippi who can help ensure they get the compensation they need.

When you retain our services, there are no fees unless we win your case. You and your family are our top priority. We will fight to ensure the insurance company pays a full and fair settlement to your child after an accident with injuries. We know the extraordinary expense that an unexpected collision can cause, do not settle for less. Contact our office today to schedule your free consultation. All case evaluations are confidential and provided without obligation to retain our firm. One call, that’s all.

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