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Can I Sue a Teenage Driver Responsible for a Lake County Car Crash?

Posted on in Car Accidents

IL accident lawyerMost car crashes involve two adult drivers. But younger drivers are responsible for an outsized share of Illinois car crashes; their lack of experience and poor decision-making skills can combine to create dangerous and even fatal road collisions. Because minors are not legal adults, obtaining compensation after an accident caused by a driver under age 19 is different from a lawsuit involving another adult. If you have recently been involved in a car crash with a teenage driver, you may want the help of an experienced Illinois car crash attorney.

What Does Illinois Law Say about Teenage Drivers’ Legal Liability?

Teenagers can be held legally liable for the same negligent actions that contribute to a car crash as an adult can. If a teen was texting and driving and caused an accident, he or she will be just as responsible as a 45-year-old. However, the law makes parents responsible for many of the consequences of a teenage driver’s recklessness. This protects victims of teenage car accidents who otherwise could not recover damages because a teen has no income or insurance.

If you have been seriously injured in a car driven by a minor, the first place to try to obtain compensation will be the minor’s car insurance or the car insurance of the minor's parents. The parent’s homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance may also cover a minor who lives at home. If the minor was driving without insurance and the parents are also uninsured, you may want to try to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the minor. Parents can be held responsible for the damages caused by the minor until the child turns 19, as long as the child lives at home.

Unlike a lawsuit involving an adult, however, parents can only be held responsible for “actual” damages caused by their child’s behavior, meaning that the damage must be readily measured - hospital bills, vehicle damage, attorneys’ fees, and the like. Other nonphysical damages like pain and suffering and loss of consortium, which may be awarded if the injuries were caused by an adult or private organization, are not an option in accidents caused by minors. There are also limits to the amount of damages for which parents can be held financially responsible.

Call a Lake County Car Crash Injuries Lawyer

Bringing a lawsuit for personal injuries in a car crash is never easy, but when the driver is a teenager, the process can become even more complicated. At Salvi & Maher, L.L.C., our experienced Lake County car accident lawyers can help you determine the most appropriate course of action after you have been injured in a crash caused by a teen. For more information and to schedule a free consultation in one of our four conveniently located offices, call us now at 847-662-3303.




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