My Teenager Got in a Car Accident: What Should I Do?
It is a scenario that parents fear. A teenage driver calls and says they have been involved in a car accident. If you receive this call, you should take a breath and calm down and think about the steps you will take next. Doing so can help you protect yourself and your teenager.Make Sure Your Teen is Safe
Ask your teenager whether they have been injured. If they have been injured or someone else has been injured, call 911. Even if nobody has been hurt, it is wise to call 911 and request that a police officer arrives at the accident scene. Obtaining a police report can help you as you pursue a claim.
Ask your teenager if they can get to a safe place. Tell them to move out of traffic slowly and put on their hazard lights if they can. If they are hurt and cannot get out of their vehicle, tell them to keep their seat belt fastened and make sure they turn their hazard lights on to stay as safe as possible.Do Not Accept or Place Blame
Ensure your teenager knows they should not admit they are at fault or try to blame the other driver. It can be easy to incorrectly place the fault for the accident due to the adrenaline and shock, but doing so can hurt your claim down the road.Document the Scene of the Accident
If you can get to the scene, go to the location and take photos of the accident. Suppose you cannot direct your teenager to take pictures of the vehicles involved, including their license plates, and any damage is done to the cars.
They should take photos of the roads, traffic signs, accident scenes, and the direction the vehicle was traveling. You might think you will remember all these details, but it can be difficult even a few hours later. It would be best if you also had your teenager write down any particulars they remember leading up to the accident. These details should may you be able to prove liability later.Exchange Information
Your teenager should share their contact information, name, and insurance information with the other driver. They should also ask the other driver for the same information. Collect the driver's name, insurance company, and license plate number. If possible, they should take a photo of the other driver's license but never give out their social security card information. If there were any witnesses to the accident, write down their contact information.Inform Your Insurance Agent
Most insurance policies require you to report an accident, even if you were not at fault. The sooner your insurance agent knows about the accident, the sooner they can try to help you with your claim. Do not accept any settlement offers from your insurance company or the other driver's insurance company before you discuss the claim with an attorney. Insurance companies will try to offer settlements that are far too low. If you accept the settlement, you will lose her opportunity to pursue more compensation in the future.
When dealing with a teenager, they must understand that everything they say could affect their claim. Make sure they know they should not sign paperwork from an insurance company or the other driver's attorney. You should also write down any calls your teenager may have had with the insurance company and ensure your team provides accurate information about the accident.Obtain Medical Care
If your teen has been injured, they must go to the hospital and obtain the medical care they need. Even if they do not need to go to the hospital, we recommend going to your doctor after the accident for a thorough examination. Make sure you tell the doctor about the symptoms you are experiencing, even if you do not think they are that serious. The trauma and adrenaline of the accident can cause you not to feel all the pain you are experiencing. Some injuries, such as whiplash, may only be apparent hours or even days after the accident.Contact Your Insurance Agent
You may be entitled to compensation if your teenager has been involved in a car accident and suffered an injury. Navigating the insurance claims process can be difficult, so you should discuss your case with an attorney as soon as possible. The skilled attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, have a proven track record of successfully obtaining compensation. We will provide you with solid legal representation from start to finish. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC, today to schedule your free case evaluation.