Understanding the Risks: Teenage Drivers and Auto Accidents in Florida

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teenagers aged 16 to 19 are at a higher risk of experiencing motor vehicle accidents than any other age group.

If your minor child has caused an auto accident in or around Stuart, FL, you may be legally responsible for any damages or injuries caused. 

Who Is Responsible if a Minor Causes an Auto Accident While Driving?

Parents may be legally responsible or liable for the negligence of children when driving a vehicle. Under a Florida law known as the Dangerous Instrumentality Doctrine, if you lend your car to someone else — including your underage child — you could be jointly responsible for any damages they cause.

Are You Liable for Accidents Caused by Your Child After They Turn 18?

You may evade liability for auto accidents if your child is 18 or older and the vehicle is in their name. However, if you keep the car in your name, you may still be legally responsible even after your child turns 18.

At Zweben Law Group, our auto accident attorneys serve individuals and families in and around Stuart, FL, and throughout the state. If your teenage child has been in a road accident, we can explain your legal responsibilities as a parent, advise on the next steps, and represent you at every stage.

How to Protect Yourself If Your Minor Child Is a Driver

To shield yourself from Florida’s parental liability laws, telling your underage children to exercise reasonable care when driving is not enough.

You want to ensure complete coverage under your auto accident policy. Check that you have uninsured motorist coverage and sufficiently high limits for bodily injury coverage.

It’s also good to warn anyone who borrows your vehicle that you could be responsible if they cause an accident.

How Long Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Claim on Behalf of Your Minor Child?

In Florida, the deadline for filing personal injury claims — also known as the statute of limitations — is four years from the date of the injury. The courts may extend the deadline in cases involving minors.

Talk to a Florida Auto Accident Lawyer Today

At Zweben Law Group, we assist teenagers injured in auto accidents and their families. Whether you’re seeking compensation for your child’s injuries or need advice on the negligence of children when driving a vehicle, we can help. Contact us today for a free consultation.