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Seeking compensation in accidents involving teen drivers, P.2

In our previous post, we mentioned data showing that Mississippi is ranked very high in terms of teen motor vehicle accidents. We also began discussing the challenges accident victims can face in teen car accidents with obtaining compensation. In many cases, if not most, teen drivers are not going to be able to pay on a tort judgment, and this is why it is important for accident victims to pursue other liable parties as well, when possible.

One potential scenario that can come up with teen drivers is that a teen takes a family vehicle out, either alone or with friends, and gets into an accident. In such cases, it may be possible to hold the teen’s parents liable for the accident, either under a general theory of family car liability, or else for negligently allowing the teen to operate the family car. The ability to hold parents liable in teen accident cases depends both on the law of the state in which the crash occurs and the facts of the case, so it is important to work with an experienced local attorney. 

Another possible scenario is when a teen borrows a vehicle belonging to a teen friend or an adult and gets it into an accident. In such cases, it may be possible to hold the owner of the vehicle liable under a theory of vicarious liability. This can potentially lead to joint and several liability for the driver, the teen friend who lent the vehicle, and the vehicle owner, though it depends upon the applicable law.

Insurance, of course, will come into play in teen accidents, but insurance coverage isn’t always adequate, particularly in cases where the teen driver is uninsured. When insurance coverage doesn’t fully coverage medical costs and other losses resulting from an accident, it is important to understand one’s legal options for pursuing recovery. An experienced Mississippi personal injury lawyer can help with this. 

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