Vehicle accidents can be confusing times for anybody involved. However, this is especially true if you only have your driver’s permit when an accident occurs. Here, we want to review the process you can expect if you or somebody you care about has been involved in an accident and only has a learner’s permit.
You Have Your Permit! Please be Careful
Information available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that vehicle accidents are the second leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States. Those most at risk for crashes are teenagers aged 16 to 19. The CDC states that, per mile driven, teenage drivers in this age range are three times as likely as all other drivers to be involved in a fatal crash.
When drivers first get their permit in California, they are required to be with a licensed driver 25 years of age or older at all times. In order to obtain a permit, an individual must be at least 15 1/2 years old and have completed a knowledge test.
Even though individuals with a permit should have a licensed, responsible driver in the vehicle with them, accidents can still occur. These accidents could be caused by the driver with the permit, or they could be caused by another driver on the roadway.
Just like any other type of vehicle accident, accidents involving a driver with a permit must be fully investigated by law enforcement officers in order to determine liability.
How is Liability Determined?
If a person with a permit is involved in a vehicle accident, this does not necessarily mean that they were at fault. Another driver’s negligence could certainly be the reason the accident occurred. After any type of vehicle accident, it is crucial for law enforcement officials to come to the scene to conduct a complete investigation. This will include gathering as much evidence as possible and drawing the best conclusion about what likely occurred.
Drivers with their permits will be covered by the insurance of the vehicle owner. Ideally, the vehicle owner will have already let their insurance carrier know that there will be a driver with a permit learning inside of the vehicle. If the driver with a learner’s permit caused the crash, the insurance policy of the vehicle owner will be responsible for paying injury and property damage compensation to other parties involved. If another driver was responsible for causing the crash, then their insurance carrier will be responsible for paying compensation to the other parties.
Will There be Complications Because a Driver Had Their Permit?
Vehicle accident claims can be complicated, and this is particularly true for those that occur when there is a driver with a learner’s permit. Insurance carriers look for various ways to limit how much money they pay out in compensation. Even if another driver caused the crash, the other driver’s insurance carrier will likely try to use the fact that the crash victim had a learner’s permit to try and limit the compensation they pay out. They may even try to shift some or all of the blame onto the driver with a permit.
That is why we strongly encourage individuals in this situation to work with a skilled car accident lawyer in Long Beach or another city in California. A lawyer will be damn in the facts of the case, gather the evidence needed to prove what happened, and handle all negotiations on their behalf.