Car accidents are a common yet terrifying occurrence.
Unfortunately, when it comes to teen drivers, they have more car accidents than adults, on average. Even if your teen driver is lucky enough to escape their collision unharmed, dealing with the fallout can be confusing and even intimidating.
It helps to know what to expect in the aftermath of a teenager’s accident. It also helps to have a talented team of attorneys focused on representing teen drivers on your side. If your teen has been in an accident in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, contact Pierce & Shows.
The Immediate Aftermath of an Accident
Just as in any car accident, things will go much easier for you if you know what to do and what to expect after a crash.
While teens driver’s education courses should cover the basics, parents should also talk with their teens about behaving at the scene. Remind them to:
- Remain calm and contact the police if there are any possible injuries or property damage
- Stay at the scene
- Have all essential documents, including driver’s license or permit, proof of insurance, and car registration
- Document the accident with notes, photos, and contact information of any witnesses
- Do NOT discuss whether they are at fault
Reporting a wreck in Louisiana
Even in cases such as fender-benders, police and medics might not get involved, but your teen will still have to report their wreck.
Under Louisiana law, drivers must forward a written report of an accident that causes injury, death, or property damage over $100 to the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections within 24 hours.
Failure to do so can result in fines or even jail time.
Additionally, Louisiana drivers must file a report with local police about any accident that causes injury, death, or property damage over $500.
Is my teen at fault?
Louisiana is an at-fault state. At-fault means that the driver who causes an accident uses their insurance to pay for the other driver’s bills from the collision.
If more than one driver is at fault, they will share the blame, and their insurance companies will decide the responsibility percentage.
If your teen is partly or wholly responsible, they — or you, the parents — will likely face some pretty steep costs, but the exact amount depends on several factors, including:
- The amount of insurance coverage they have
- The percentage of fault they bear
- The severity of the accident
There will be an insurance deductible in nearly all cases and increased premiums that must be paid following an accident.
Will there be legal consequences?
Just like in any other type of car accident in Louisiana, legal consequences depend on several factors.
These factors can include:
- If there are reckless or negligent behavior
- Breaking any other laws at the time of the crash, such as underage alcohol consumption
- Breaking traffic laws
Something for parents of teens in Louisiana to keep in mind is that you may be held legally liable for their children’s car wrecks—even if parents are not in the car at the time of the accident.
Contact A Louisiana Car Accident Attorney Today
Having an attorney who has the know-how to help you and your teen navigate this stressful process is vital to helping your teen through the fallout of their accident.
Remember, it is best to contact an attorney who represents teen drivers early on in the process — especially if there is a possibility that your teen caused the accident.
Located in Baton Rouge, Pierce & Shows can help you and your teen through this process. For more information, contact Pierce & Shows today.