In New York State, the minimum driving age is just 16 years old. Albeit,
young drivers must earn a driver’s permit from the Department of
Motor Vehicles, this in no way guarantees that they will be responsible
on the road. Even if they are taking deliberate care at every turn, the
simple fact that they lack years of experience behind the wheel may lead
to dangerous traffic collisions that cause harm and injury.
Who will be held financially responsible?
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a young driver and
decide to pursue legal recourse, it is unlikely that you will be able
to go directly to them for financial compensation. To some extent, both
insurance providers should offer some coverage for the expenses of repairs
and recovery, but it might not be enough. At that point, you can sue the
child’s parents or legal guardians to cover the differences. If
your pain and suffering has been debilitating, you may even attempt to
win punitive and nominal damages from them.
Different Responsibilities in Criminal Cases
If the car accident caused by a minor can be linked to a criminal act,
liability can take a dramatic shift. If they were knowingly committing
a crime while operating the vehicle – such as speeding or reckless
endangerment – they could be held directly accountable in a court
of law, possibly facing time spent in juvenile hall. Typically, if a case
involves the wrongful death of another due to vehicular manslaughter,
they could be tried as an adult and face even harsher penalties.
But the law does not necessarily stop at the young driver’s charges
and convictions. The parents could be found guilty of actionable negligence
for failing to supervise the child in a way that a normal or prudent individual
would. Depending on the severity of the damages, the charges of negligence
could also conclude with penalizing criminal convictions.
If you were in a car accident that led to injury and destruction of property
and an inexperienced, youthful driver was involved, they could be found
at fault. Seek legal counsel today by
contacting a Long Island personal injury attorney from The Odierno Law Firm, P.C. Together, we can address all the evidence
of your harmful collision and build a case that could win you financial
compensation for your injuries.