It’s a fact: Teens often cause traffic accidents in Chicago and across Illinois. As the lawyers of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. have observed, the cause in many crashes is the teen’s careless or reckless behavior.
Anyone injured in the accident may have a claim for damages, including other motorists, pedestrians, bicycle riders, motorcycle riders and passengers in the car with the teen driver. However, victims may be reluctant to pursue a claim, especially if they are a friend who was a passenger in the teen’s car. This is a big mistake.
Teenagers have car insurance just as any adult does. This car insurance exists to cover the costs of damages when a serious accident occurs and victims are badly hurt.
If you do not pursue a claim against the teen driver, then the insurance company that has been accepting premiums will be simply let off the hook. Despite being an innocent victim, you could be left with medical bills, lost income and other losses while the insurer’s profits are protected. This is why you should instead consult an experienced car accident lawyer for help in making a claim for damages.
At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., we have handled many cases in which teen drivers were to blame for a crash. We understand the ins-and-outs of these cases. We are ready to use our legal knowledge and skills to fight for fair compensation for you.
To learn more about how we can help you, give us a call today or contact us using our online form. We provide free, no-obligation consultations.
Why Do Teen Drivers Cause Accidents?
There were 705,666 licensed drivers in Illinois between the ages of 16 and 20 years of age in 2011. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), drivers within this age group were involved in 53,850 total crashes over the course of the year. This total includes 121 fatal crashes and 12,778 accidents that caused injuries. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) says that teens make 70 percent more insurance claims for accidents than other drivers.
Teen accidents often occur due to inexperience. Unfortunately, they also result from bad choices. As we review your case, the lawyers of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., will explore whether your crash resulted from one or more of the common causes of teen driving accidents.
These causes include:
- Speeding – When asked by Allstate what their opinion on speeding was, 17 percent of teen drivers actually said it was “fun,” while 55 percent said they had sped in their car, going 10 or more mph beyond the legal speed limit.
- Driver distraction – Around 11 percent of fatal car crashes involving teen drivers under age 20 involve some type of distraction, Distraction.gov reports. This might include any type of visual, manual or cognitive distraction. However, cell phones and texting can be especially distracting.
- Drinking and driving – There were seven teen drivers killed in Illinois in 2011 that had a BAC between .08 (above the legal limit) and .20, IDOT data shows. There were also two teen drivers killed with a BAC between .01 and .07, which means they had something to drink but weren’t necessarily classified as drunk.
- Driver drowsiness – A study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety revealed that teens tend to pull over to rest less often than other drivers if they find themselves too tired to drive safely.
Teenagers who have passengers in the car with them when driving may also be more likely to become involved in a crash. A study conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Center indicated that 69 percent of teenagers routinely drove around with at least two friends ages 21 and under in their cars.
Make sure to talk to your teen about safe driving. For some tips and resources on teen driving safety click the image below.
Our Lawyers Provide Legal Help to Teen Driving Accident Victims
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident with a teen driver, it is important to understand your legal rights. You may have a claim against the teen driver (or, more accurately, the insurance company) provided you can prove the teenager was negligent or did something wrong that was a direct cause of your crash.
The money you may recover after the accident can include payment of all medical costs as well as compensation for time you had to take off from work compensation and for pain and suffering.
Establishing a car accident claim can be very complex. It is important to talk to an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer to learn about your rights and to find an advocate who can represent you and seek the money you deserve.
At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., we are available to put our skill, experiences and resources to work for you. To learn more about how we can help, contact us today. We can provide a free review of your case. Call our toll-free number or contact us online.