Even the most responsible teenager can be involved in a car accident at some point. Naturally, every parent worries that the phone will ring and it will be their child informing them they have had an accident. The event can be extremely stressful, not only for the teen but for parents as well. These are the steps you should take once you have calmed down and assured yourself that your child is okay.
Make Sure They Contact 911
One of the first things to confirm is that your child has contacted 911 to report the accident. Insurance companies will need a police report if there is any damage to the vehicles. Even if there is minor or no damage, it is always a good idea to have the police come to the scene. Some states require that any accident, no matter how minor, be reported to the authorities.
Ask the teen if the vehicle is drivable, and, if so, have them move out of traffic lanes. If they are injured, tell them to remain seated with the seatbelt fastened until emergency officials arrive. They should also turn on their hazard lights. Tell them they should not accept or place blame at this time, but they should be sure that passengers or the other driver are okay if that is possible.
Photos and/or Video
More than likely, you will have to go to the scene of the accident. Be sure to take photos of the vehicles, the people involved, license plates, and other identifying information. You will also want photos of traffic signs, road conditions, the road in the direction both cars were traveling, and anything else you think may be necessary for the insurance company.
If there are visible injuries, take photos of those as soon as possible as well. Your teen will also have to exchange information with the other driver. Take a photo of their driver’s license, insurance card, and vehicle registration. Having a solid photo/video portfolio will help your case a lot when dealing with insurance companies.
Contact the Insurance Company
If your child is a minor, dealing with insurance companies should be your duty. Be sure that your child does not talk to an adjuster without you present. Let your child know that the insurance company will handle the repairs. They will also contact the other driver to work out the details.
There is no need for the other driver to contact your child directly. But if they do reach out, your child should not talk to them. If they contact you or your child, refer them to the insurance agent or your attorney.
Contact an Attorney
Teens are particularly vulnerable to victimization after an accident. The other driver may immediately point fingers at the younger driver since they may have the attitude that a teen must always be at fault in an accident since they have less experience.
You also do not want to sign any documents, including settlement offers, until you have had a chance to talk to an attorney. Hiring an attorney does not mean you plan to sue. An attorney simply protects your rights under the law.
If your teen has been involved in an accident, do not hesitate to contact a specialized lawyer. They will review your case and determine what rights your teen has. They will further help to get the compensation they deserve and protect them from other drivers who may be quick to point fingers at a less experienced driver. Set up a no-obligation consultation today to learn how a lawyer can help with your case.