When you are involved in a car accident caused by a teen, you may wonder if you must shoulder the burden of your medical bills, family expenses, and repairs or replacement of your vehicle. The diligent car accident attorneys at Dannheisser Injury Law can help you understand your options for seeking compensation after an accident.

Although legal matters can be more complicated when minors are involved, teen driving accidents in Sarasota may be resolved through an insurance settlement or a lawsuit against the minor’s parents or guardians. We will help you every step of the way, and if necessary, our lawyers are prepared to represent you in court.

Who Is Responsible When a Teen Motorist Causes an Accident?

In the state, parents are integral to teen driving because they must give written consent if the teen is younger than 18. Teens who turn 18 are considered adults and can be held responsible for any accident they cause. However, if they are driving a car licensed to a parent, the parent can be held liable because it is also illegal for a parent or anyone else to lend a vehicle to an unlicensed minor. Generally, under Florida Statutes § 322.09, parents and legal guardians in Sarasota can be held responsible for teen driving accidents.

Understanding Personal Injury Protection Insurance

All motorists in the state must carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, with a minimum coverage of $10,000. If their injuries are not serious, motorists must look to their own coverage for medical expenses and lost wages before they can file a lawsuit against the offending teen driver or parents. PIP does not consider who is at fault for the accident.

The PIP system has been under fire for several years, with opponents introducing legislation to adopt an at-fault system or increase minimum insurance coverage. Our Dannheisser Injury Law attorneys are skilled negotiators who advocate for the total value of our client’s injuries, damages, and lawsuits. If injuries exceed PIP coverage, or a teen driver’s parents do not carry injury liability insurance in Sarasota for the accident, these parents can meet us in court.

Steps for Filing a Claim

When injuries are severe enough under the state’s tort threshold, an injured driver can file a claim against the teen driver, parent, or guardian if they do not negotiate a settlement. Here are some actions our Sarasota attorneys can take for a teen driving accident:

  • Gather and interpret evidence
  • Ensure all filing deadlines are met
  • Advocate in settlement negotiations or at trial
  • Estimate how much a person’s physical, emotional, and financial losses are worth

We build personal relationships with our clients and offer them compassionate representation because we care about what happens after a life-changing accident. Our attorneys work hand in hand with you instead of passing you off to a case manager. We have access to some of the state’s most successful expert witnesses, and our clients have our cell phone numbers.

Modified Comparative Negligence Rule

The state’s recent tort reform implemented sweeping changes, including how fault is assigned in car accidents. The modified comparative negligence rule in Florida Statutes § 768.81 allocates fault by percentage. To recover damages after a teen driver accident, you cannot be more than 50 percent at fault, and your percentage of fault reduces damages awarded.

Seek a Sarasota Lawyer’s Expertise After a Teen Driving Accident

Teens pose a risk on the road due to their inexperience. When they drive negligently and cause an accident, it becomes personal. Hire an attorney from our firm who understands how much it means to you to heal physically, emotionally, and financially.

We forge relationships with clients and offer strong guidance and capable representation built on our combined decades of experience. If you are disillusioned by how larger firms treat clients like dollar signs, our well-practiced Dannheisser Injury Law attorneys can better handle your legal issues. After a teen driving accident in Sarasota, call us for a consultation.

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