Car accidents are on the rise, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The latest data from the NHTSA shows that over 38,000 people were killed in car accidents in 2020 alone – the largest number since 2007. A substantial amount of car accidents each year involve teenage drivers. Motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of death for people between the ages of 13 and 19. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teen drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are nearly three times as likely to be in a fatal car crash as drivers ages 20 or older.
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Being involved in any type of car accident can result in catastrophic injuries for the victims. It can leave them dealing with shock, physical injuries, and emotional distress. Extensive medical expenses, including hospital stays, rehabilitation, lab tests, medical treatment, and follow-up visits are common needs after an accident with a teen driver. If your injuries left you temporarily or permanently debilitated, you may not be able to return to work right away, or ever, which limits your income on top of piling medical bills.
If you were involved in a car accident with a teenage driver at the wheel, you have a right to compensation. The Washington, DC teen driving accident lawyer at Regan Zambri Long has years of experience and a longstanding track record of securing millions for injury victims. Contact us today for a free consultation and allow Washington, DC car accident lawyers to handle the claims process for you while you focus on your recovery.
According to CBS News, teenagers are actually more skillful drivers than adults but were still more likely to be involved in fatal car accidents. The study showed that teens who are involved in sports have quicker reaction times and better peripheral vision, which is key to seeing what is happening on either side of the vehicle. The study also found that teens who play video games were not any better than the average driver.
Even though the teen driving statistics study found that teen drivers are generally more skillful than adult drivers, it is their inexperience and the inattention to safety considerations that make them statistically more unsafe on the road. Teens are more likely to underestimate, or not be able to recognize dangerous situations. They are also more likely to make poor decisions and errors that can lead to serious car accidents. Teen drivers may overcorrect or not know how to react to certain situations on the road, which can lead to a car crash and serious injury.
While there are several reasons car accidents involving teen drivers occur, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlights the main causes behind teen car crashes:
Distracted driving is when a driver does anything which takes attention away from the road. This can be eating, putting on makeup, texting while driving, talking to a passenger, and switching music on the radio. The biggest culprit using a cell phone while driving.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reading a text message can take about five seconds. For a driver going 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed. It increases the chance of a car cash for a teenager by 23 times.
Over 3,000 deaths occurred in 2019 directly due to distracted driving. Unfortunately, this is a major problem for all age groups, however, when combined with inexperience, it creates a deadly combination.
No one, no matter what age, should get behind the wheel of a car after consuming alcohol. Teen drivers have a higher risk of being involved in a drunk driving car accident than older drivers with the same blood alcohol content. In 2018, 15% of teenage drivers (16-20) who were involved in fatal car crashes had a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher – a level that is illegal for adults aged 21 or older.
In 2019, 40% of car accidents involving teen drivers occurred on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday between 9 pm and 6 am. Teenagers’ curfews are usually later on weekends, while high school parties, which can have heavy drinking, occur on the weekends.
Young drivers are more likely to speed and to tailgate, which is an extremely dangerous combination. In 2019, speeding was a factor in 27% of fatal car crashes involving teens (15-18 years old). Speeding makes it harder to slow down the vehicle when there are sudden stops, and harder to control the vehicle when maneuvering through traffic. Speeding also decreases the effectiveness of the protective equipment in the car, such as seat belts and airbags.
Statistics have shown that wearing a seat belt saves thousands of lives each year; yet, according to the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, approximately 43% of high school students did not always wear their seat belts when riding or driving a car. For those who do not wear a seat belt, you are 30 times more likely to be ejected from a vehicle during a car accident and more than 3 out of 4 people who are ejected will likely die in the crash.
There are several factors to holding parents responsible for their teen’s car crash. Many times, teen drivers use their parents’ cars in the first months or years of driving. This means they are covered under their parents’ auto insurance. If the teen is involved in a car crash, the claim will be against the policy that covers the parents’ car. Additionally, if a teen gets his own car after obtaining a license, then they are required to carry auto insurance as per Washington, DC law. If that is the case, then you would file a claim against the insurance company that covers the teen’s car.
Washington, DC, Virginia, and Maryland have a law called Negligent Entrustment of a Motor Vehicle. Negligent entrustment in a teen driver accident case is the parents of the teen who caused the car crash are held liable for the negligence of their teen because the parents provided the device or instrument used to harm the victim. In layman’s terms, if a parent knew their teen had an alcohol problem, but still offered their car for the weekend and the teen caused a car accident after a night of drinking, the Negligent Entrustment Law would allow the victim to file a claim against the parent.
This law requires experienced car accident lawyers by the victim’s side. The teen driving accident attorneys at Regan Zambri Long know the ins and outs of DC law and various insurance company policies. They will be able to guide you through the claims process and make the determination of who should be held responsible for the car accident. Call today to set up a consultation with a DC teen car accident lawyer.
Being in an accident is scary and shocking. Here are seven steps to follow right after the accident occurs.
Call 911: The most important thing to do following an auto accident is to inform the police. They will help navigate traffic away from your car and be able to coordinate medical attention to anyone who needs it. The responding officers will begin the investigation as soon as medical needs are met, interviewing witnesses and taking statements from both drivers.
Listen to the Police: You should cooperate with the police at all times and never leave the accident scene until the police officer says it’s okay to go. If the other driver tries to persuade you not to call the police, do not listen. Do not take money from the other driver, as this can hinder your chances to seek compensation.
Assess Damages: Once the medical needs of you and your passengers are taken care of, begin to assess the damages done to your vehicle. Take pictures and video and keep them safe. Take note of any aches and pains you feel following the teen driving accident. Finally, notice any damage done to your possessions that were inside the car during the accident.
Exchange Information: This information includes the make, model, and license plate number of the vehicle that caused the accident. You will also need the other driver’s full contact information, including their full name, phone number, and address. Exchange insurance information, as well. If the other driver refuses to give the information, do not worry and do not pressure them to do so. The responding police officer will have all the information you need and put it in the police report.
Gather Evidence: Document everything related to the accident, including medical records and bills, and witness testimony. Keep records and receipts of vehicle repairs and replacement. Finally, take mental note of any physical pain and emotional stress in the aftermath of the accident.
Get Medical Help: If you suffered injuries during the accident, get assessed by a doctor immediately and then follow all the orders, including treatment, prescriptions, and follow-up appointments. Keep a detailed record of all expenses. To file a personal injury claim for any losses or injuries suffered from a motor vehicle accident you need to make sure that you keep a record of medical bills.
Contact a Regan Zambri Long Car Accident Lawyer: Insurance companies are notorious for offering the lowest settlement possible to the victims of car accidents. A Regan Zambri Long teen car accident lawyer is an expert in negotiating to ensure you receive the maximum compensation possible. Even if you think the initial settlement your insurance company offers is enough, you never know what can happen down the line. Injuries can worsen over time and healthcare is expensive.
The Regan Zambri Long car accident attorneys will negotiate the highest settlement possible so you don’t carry the burden of financial distress while you’re trying to heal from the motor vehicle crash.
A settlement happens when the insurance companies agree to pay the fair compensation to the victim of a car accident. However, this doesn’t always happen. Insurance companies will designate an insurance adjuster to your case and an insurance adjuster’s job is to save money.
This is where a Regan Zambri Long car accident attorney can help. Your attorney will negotiate with the adjuster on your behalf, using the years of knowledge in D.C. law and insurance policies. While it would be harder for you to make your case with an adjuster, the Regan Zambri Long car accident attorney will use the evidence from the police report and your own records to secure the proper compensation.
The accident lawyer will also prepare your claim for trial right away. If your claim goes to trial, you will receive a verdict instead of a settlement. Regan Zambri Long has the financial backing to take on large insurance companies and court cases so you can rest assured your attorney will be by your side every step of the way.
There are three different types of damages you can collect from your claim. The first is economic damages. This type of payment is for medical expenses, lost wages, and future wages you may lose due to ongoing injuries.
The second type is non-economic damages, which include pain and suffering, emotional trauma and anguish, social standing, and mental hardships.
The final type of damages you can collect from a DC car accident claim is punitive damages. Punitive damages are very rare since they are meant to punish the behavior of those responsible for the accident. Punitive damages are broken into three different categories of negligence:
Washington, DC is one of the five jurisdictions in the country that still use the contributory negligence law. This law states that if the plaintiff (the person who filed the claim against the reckless driver) is responsible in any way for the accident, then a claim for compensation cannot be filed. This law applies in Virginia and Maryland, as well. Regan Zambri Long car accident lawyers offer free consultations to prospective clients. Call (202)960-4746 today and learn how a teen accident lawyer at Regan Zambri Long can help.
Unfortunately, teenagers aren’t the only drivers who are involved in accidents around Washington D.C. Some of the other common causes of accidents, for any DC age group, are:
The personal injury lawyers at Regan Zambri Long can assist in these several types of car accidents. If you have been involved in a car accident due to any of the reasons listed above, contact a Regan Zambri Long personal injury lawyer today for a free case evaluation.
The Washington, DC Statute of Limitations to file a claim for a car accident is up to three years. Outside that window, you will most likely not be able to recover any damages for the claim. Speak with a Regan Zambri Long car accident attorney today to assess your car accident case and file a claim quickly and efficiently to recover the maximum amount of compensation possible.