Going through an auto accident is always a harrowing experience that can leave you with far more than just a smashed-up car. It can seriously affect you in terms of health, work, and your home life.
The stakes are that much higher when it is your teenager behind the wheel.
Teen car accidents are more likely to occur than accidents involving adults. This is because teens are less experienced. This makes them more susceptible to making simple driving errors. These errors are often harmless, but other times will result in accidents.
In such a situation where your teen gets into an accident, what do you do?
Here, find out what to do from the moment of the accident to ensure your teens’ interests get looked after.
Teen car accident: next steps
If your teen has gotten themselves involved in an auto accident, the first thing to do is to ensure they are okay. A wise first step would be to get them to seek medical attention immediately.
Even if they seem alright, injuries from car accidents often are not felt until hours later. This is one reason why it is so vital to seek medical attention.
Another reason you absolutely need to get medical attention is for the purpose of any potential litigation. Any experienced attorney will tell you that one of the most important aspects of any auto accident case is the documentation of your injuries and proof of medical treatment.
Document the scene as much as safely possible
In the aftermath of an auto accident involving a teenager, you should be thinking of safety first. Any litigation matters second.
With that said, if at all possible, and if can be done safely, use a smartphone or camera to take photos of the scene of the accident, the location of the vehicles post-crash, as well as the damage to both cars.
It is also beneficial to exchange information as soon as possible, and be sure to obtain the license plate number of the other driver just in case.
Did you know that a vast majority of civil cases are settled pre-trial? This is significant because in the absence of a jury to persuade, the cold, hard facts and discovery documentation becomes all the more important.
This is precisely why medical documentation is of the utmost importance in a teen car accident case. Just like a typical auto accident case, the insurance company you will likely be going up against will be far more inclined to offer a more substantial settlement when you have proof of your injuries and proof of your extensive treatments and various tests.
If you don’t have good documentation, the opposing side may feel confident in going to trial. This raises the risk of you not getting any settlement offer, or getting a low-ball one.
Who was at fault?
When it comes to litigating a car accident, this piece of information can be the difference between winning and losing the case.
In the event your teen was the at-fault driver in the accident, the prospects of your case are dimmer, for certain, but still not diminished completely.
There are various factors that go into a personal injury case, and determination of who was at fault is not the end-all-be-all, otherwise there would be no need for seasoned, professional auto accident lawyers to represent you and help get the outcome you need.
Staying out of trouble
Teenagers are known for it. Sometimes, its almost as if they are magnetically attracted to it.
Yes, the word “teenager” and “trouble” are practically synonymous terms.
But with that said, the time immediately following an accident must be a time when your teen is acting like the young man or woman they will soon become. This means following up on any medical appointments or tests and going to any physical therapy required or recommended.
It also means that if you don’t personally manage the medical documentation yourself, your teen will be responsible for asking for it, collecting it, and making sure it gets into the hands of your counsel.
Staying out of trouble also means not doing anything they should not be doing in terms of their injuries.
For example, if they have a back and/or neck injuries, they should not be found out and about playing tackle football with friends, or seen in a Facebook video jumping off a tall ledge into a lake.
The reason for this should be obvious, but bears repeating because it happens so often: if you do things that are contradictory to your claimed injuries, and it gets caught on film or someone is willing to attest to it, it can be used against you as proof of your injuries being less severe than you claim.
Make no mistake, insurance companies can and will hire private investigators in order to try to catch you doing something you are not supposed to. Your teen is no exception to this.
No social media faux pas
While roughly on the topic of social media, this is where teenagers practically live, so it’s worth discussing in the context of an accident.
Be sure your teen is responsible on social media in the aftermath of an auto accident. For example, be sure they don’t say things that could be used in court to either show they aren’t as injured as they claim or that the accident was their fault.
In addition to this, make sure your teenager doesn’t have other posts or videos of them doing reckless things in their vehicle such as speeding, road raging, or committing wild maneuvers with their car.
Get the best Georgia attorney for your teen
A teen car accident is a serious matter, but it doesn’t have to be so stressful when you have competent representation by your side.
At Georgia Auto Law, we deal with accidents of all kinds every single day, and we know how to get justice for you or your teen.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation.