As a parent, you always want your teenager to remain safe and secure. However, part of growing up and becoming an adult means taking on more responsibilities. Driving is a monumental milestone in our lives, and even the most responsible teenager can be vulnerable to causing or being involved in an accident.
While you can’t completely prevent your teen from being involved in a car accident, there are some steps that you both can take following a car or truck accident to keep your teen safe and legally protected. These steps may assist in building a claim when working with Houston auto accident attorneys.
Teaching Your Teen to Respond to an Accident
Following a car accident, your teenager may be a little shaken up and may not know the full extent of what to do. It is essential that you take the time to talk to your teen about being prepared for a car accident and the steps they should take during the aftermath.
1. Seek Medical Attention
Following an accident, safety should always be the first priority, and that means seeking medical attention as soon as possible. Even in the case of a minor crash, there can still be hidden injuries. Let your teen know that, if they need medical care following a crash, they can ask someone else for help managing the process of gathering evidence.
2. Don’t Apologize
It’s normal for us to apologize for an incident even when it’s not our fault. However, in the case of a car accident, this can be dangerous. If your teen is not at fault, apologizing to others can imply that the accident is their fault. The other driver, their insurance company, and even law enforcement may see this as admitting guilt.
3. Gather the Necessary Evidence
Let your teenager know that they will need to gather the necessary evidence following any crash they’re involved in. Remember, if they’ve been injured, you teen should ask either a friend or trusted acquaintance for help gathering evidence on the scene. This evidence often includes:
- Written testimonies
- Photographs anyone took of the incident, including any medical or property damages
- Medical and police reports
- Contact and insurance information
4. Don’t Talk About the Case
Many teenagers and young adults alike constantly communicate with their friends and family via social media. Your teen might be tempted to share what happened during their accident to their circle of friends. However, make sure your teen knows that sharing any details about their accident on social media or telling their friends what happened can compromise the case.
When Can Parents Be Held Liable
A parent won’t be liable for their teen’s actions if they don’t have legal custody. Additionally, a parent won’t be accountable once their teen is 18 years or older and if they legally own their vehicle.
Finally, regardless of who’s determined to be at fault, most insurance companies will pay for damages as long as the teen is part of the parent’s insurance policy. However, one exception to this rule is if a teen’s actions were criminal and not caused by negligence.
Why Should I Call an Attorney Before My Insurance Agent?
It’s always good practice to call your attorney before an insurance agent. Here are three reasons why:
- Insurance companies may try to “low-ball” you and not offer adequate compensation.
- When you sign an agreement with an insurance company, you may forfeit the right to seek further compensation.
- An insurance company may try to compromise your case by twisting things you’ve said that may showcase you in a bad light.
Although the tactics above can make it incredibly difficult to get the compensation you need, an experienced auto accident attorney can help you get justice.
Help Your Teen Through a Car Accident with Assistance from Lapeze & Johns
Even the most responsible teen may run into problems when they start driving. While there’s no surefire way to avoid car accidents, ensuring your teen knows how to handle a car accident’s aftermath is vital.
Having Houston auto accident attorneys on your side can assist in filing a claim and dealing with the insurance companies. At Lapeze & Johns, we have a team of qualified attorneys ready to help.