Liability, considerations, and more
When you or someone you love is involved in a driver’s ed crash, you may wonder what your next steps should be. After all, student drivers generally don’t have driver’s licenses and are often under the age of 18, which means you generally cannot file a lawsuit against them. Determining fault will be crucial if you hope to recover the compensation you are entitled to.
The skilled Knoxville car accident lawyers with Hotz & Associates are here to guide you through the student driver car accident claims process and get the most out of your claim. Here is more about what you should expect if you are involved in a collision with a student driver.
What happens if a student driver crashes during a driving lesson?
Student driver car accidents are more common than you might think. Often, student drivers are only partially responsible, as the vehicles they drive are preventable due to the dual control systems instructors utilize.
For example, if the vehicle being used to train the new driver had dual controls, and the instructor failed to intervene when the driver did not notice the approaching stop sign, it may be that multiple parties share blame for the accident.
Law enforcement officials and emergency responders should be called to the accident scene immediately so you can begin building a case against those responsible for causing the accident. You will also need to hire a student driver car accident lawyer to help you identify those responsible and ensure you receive fair compensation through an insurance claim or civil lawsuit.
Parties who may be liable for a student driver crash
Establishing liability for your driver’s ed crash is essential if you hope to avoid being stuck covering the costs of another party’s negligence. Some of the parties most frequently sued in student driver accidents include:
- Student drivers
- The student driver’s legal guardian or parents
- Driving instructors
- Driving schools
The student driver
You may initially assume that you should sue the student driver that hit you. This is often the case when student drivers engage in irresponsible or negligent behavior. If your car accident attorney can demonstrate that the student driver was driving unsafely, they may be held accountable for your damages and injuries.
Despite the fact that the student driver may currently be unlicensed or hold a learner’s permit, they still have a legal obligation to follow Knoxville traffic rules and regulations. Failure to do so is considered negligence and could result in the student driver being sued in civil court.
The student driver’s parents
When student drivers are underage, their parents may be financially and legally liable for any injuries or damages their children cause due to negligence. This is commonly referred to as vicarious liability, which will allow you to file a claim through the teen driver’s parent’s insurance company or file a civil lawsuit against the student driver’s parents, depending on the specific circumstances of your case.
According to negligent entrustment laws under Tenn. Code Ann. § 55-10-311(a), parents can be held accountable for student drivers if they should have known or knew their child was a threat to other drivers on the roadways.
The driving instructor
Driving instructors are often held accountable in student driver car accidents. This is because many student drivers are operating a vehicle with dual controls. This means the instructor has the opportunity and obligation to prevent collisions by exercising the dual control systems.
If they fail to pay close attention to how the student driver is driving, fail to intervene during an emergency, or otherwise do not take reasonable steps to prevent a potential student driver car accident, driving instructors can be held accountable for the victim’s damages.
The driving school
The driving school responsible for the student driver and the instructor can also be held accountable for the victim’s injuries and damages under the respondeat superior legal theory. Here, driving schools can be held accountable for the actions of their driving instructors if a collision occurs while the driving instructor is completing work-related responsibilities.
Driving schools can also be held accountable if they fail to properly vet potential driving instructors or fail to maintain the safety and integrity of the vehicles student drivers are using. Your car accident attorney will carefully evaluate the circumstances of your case to determine whether the driving school’s negligence contributed to your injuries and what legal options may be available to you if so.
Meet with a Knoxville car accident lawyer today
Collisions involving student drivers are often more complex than other types of car accidents. Make sure you have a knowledgeable and experienced Knoxville car accident lawyer at Hotz & Associates on your side fighting for the compensation you are entitled to.
Let us help you learn more about the driver’s ed claims process and who could be held accountable for your damages. Fill out our quick contact form or call our office at (865) 582-0042 to schedule your free consultation and get started on your case.