My Teen Driver Was in a Car Accident, Now What?
When you receive the fateful call, how you handle the next few minutes is critically important. What should you do first? Take a deep breath, get your emotions in check, and begin to calm your teen down.
The following steps can help get both of you through the next few minutes:
- Ask first if there’s an injury. If so, call 911. Even if no one is hurt, it’s still a smart idea to call. Many areas legally require you to report accidents.
- Get them to a safe place. Ask them if they’re able to drive the vehicle. If they are, have them slowly move out of traffic. If they can’t move it, tell them not to try. If they’re hurt and/or can’t get out of the car, have them keep their seatbelt fastened. Make sure they turn on their hazard lights so they can be seen by oncoming traffic.
- Don’t accept or place blame. Remind them not to admit fault or blame the other driver. However, do encourage them to ask the other driver and passengers if they’re injured.
- Take photos. If they can, have them snap a photo of those involved, their license plates, and damage to any cars. Also take photos of the scene, the roads, traffic signs, and the direction each vehicle was traveling. It can be hard to remember these details even a few hours later.
- Exchange information. Have them share their name, contact information, and insurance info with the other driver (if there is one). Then ask them to get the same details from other drivers involved. It’s best to get it from a driver’s license and insurance card just to make sure they’re reliable. If they can, they should take a photo of these ID cards. Remind them to never give out their Social Security number.
- Take notes on their phone. Encourage your teen to capture as many details as they can, including:
- Year, make, model and color of the other car
- Driver and passenger names, addresses and phone numbers
- Exact location
- Their speed
- Date and time
- Weather conditions
- Time police arrived, their name and badge number
- Road conditions
- Witnesses (get names and contact info)
- Get a copy of the accident report. Make sure it includes the officer’s name and contact information. This report will be useful if the accident goes to court.
- Call a tow truck. If your teen’s vehicle is unsafe to drive, call a tow truck, and have a professional mechanic fully check out the car.
- Call a car accident attorney. Before you or your teen say anything to any car insurance company, be sure to get a qualified car accident lawyer on your side. Don’t give a recorded or written statement to an insurance company without the advice of your lawyer.
Afterward, ask your teen driver how they feel and how you can help them get back to normal. Getting in an accident can be scary for a young person. They need your support now more than ever. Let them know that they don’t need to take any action and shouldn’t without your input. Don’t sign paperwork or let them sign any either.
When to Contact a Canton Car Accident Attorney
The experienced personal injury attorneys at Geiger Legal Group, LLC, are experienced with managing car accidents caused by teenage drivers. We’re highly ranked by our peers and by our clients. For your peace of mind, we’re available via phone, online chat, video call, or can visit you in your home.
For your convenience, we can meet with you virtually via free video conferencing services such as:
Georgia Teenager Car Accident Statistics and Laws for Teen Drivers
What factors play into the chances your teen will be involved in a car crash?
- CDC statistics show teenage males are more likely than females to be involved in a wreck.
- Accidents are most common when teen drivers have teen passengers in the car.
- Accidents are most likely to occur among newly licensed teen drivers. Read more shocking statistics here.
You can reduce the stress you and your child may experience at an accident by having a “dry run” when they first learn to drive. Go through each of the steps of what to do after a car accident listed above and act them out in a mock situation.
Of course, the best way to prepare your teen for a car accident is to teach them how to avoid one in the first place. The Georgia Department of Driver Services offers a three-step program leading to full driving privileges. It’s designed to give teenagers real-world driving experience with a licensed driver to prepare them to hit the road alone.
Determining Fault in a Car Accident Involving a Teen
If your teen driver is involved in a serious car crash, don’t go it alone. Having the full resources of a respected personal injury firm can make a difference. In Canton, Cherokee County, and throughout North Georgia, team up with Geiger Legal Group, LLC, your ally from the first phone call. Geiger Legal Group is a family-run law firm with a heart for helping people.
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Relax. We’ve got this. We’re your hometown lawyers and consultations are free. Contact us now to find out how we can help.