Every car accident is difficult. As you struggle with injuries, transportation, and bills you weren’t expecting, you may also be out of work while you recover. You shouldn’t have to bear these burdens on your own. Our Jacksonville car accident lawyers can help you recover compensation to restore your financial stability and answer questions about how an accident with a minor might affect your claim.
You might wonder how to get compensated if you are up against a minor. However, all is not lost. Depending on the circumstances, you still have a right to recover your losses from those at fault. Let us review some of the important laws in your case and discuss how you could benefit from working with a Jacksonville teen driver accident lawyer in this matter.
Can You File a Car Accident Case against Teenage Drivers?
You will likely have to file against the parents if the teenager is still a minor. Florida Statutes Section 322.09 states that the parent or legal guardian will be liable for the teen’s misconduct on the road. Moreover, teenage drivers below 18 must have a parent’s signed consent to get a license. It is illegal to let any unauthorized minor drive here in Jacksonville.
If the driver is already 18 or 19 years old, Jacksonville considers them adults and, as such, they can get sued as adults. However, if the car was registered to the teen’s parents, you could also hold them liable. You can only sue minors if they are emancipated from their parents since they have the same rights and duties as adults.
In any case, the Jacksonville teen driver accident lawyer can help you find evidence of the teen’s fault in the collision. Besides gathering physical evidence like dash cam footage, they can also investigate the laws the driver could have violated. For example, the teenager could have also broken DUI laws. Such violations can help prove their liability further.
According to Florida’s no-fault auto insurance laws, accident victims who do not have serious enough injuries cannot sue third parties.
PIP Is Your Option for Minor Injuries
Depending on your condition after the accident, you might be unable to automatically proceed with an action against the liable teenage driver. As a result, you could be limited to your Personal Injury Protection or PIP insurance.
Jacksonville motorists must carry PIP and Property Damage Liability (PDL) insurance, as the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles mandates. PIP will pay for injury-related losses such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages due to inability to work
- Replacement services (for instance, you hired childcare services since you could not take care of your children)
However, you cannot recover non-economic losses such as disabilities, trauma, and chronic pain through a PIP insurance claim. To do so, you must qualify for third-party actions.
How to Qualify for Liability Claims and Accident Lawsuits
Severe injuries such as blindness or permanent brain damage would make you eligible for actions against the Jacksonville teenage driver, parent, or guardian. This is because these conditions meet Florida’s tort thresholds. If a loved one passed away in the car accident, you could also file for your losses against the at-fault person.
Unless the teenager or other liable party wants to settle the dispute privately, you typically have two options for recovering your losses:
- File a Liability Claim: If the teenager or their parents have injury liability insurance, you can file the claim with their insurer.
- File a Lawsuit: If the at-fault driver does not carry injury liability or if their coverage is insufficient, you can file the case in court instead. The court will decide the settlement, not the insurance company.
Do note that you can file property damage claims against the teen’s auto insurance provider regardless of your injuries.
How Teen Driving Accident Lawyers Can Assist You
Having a Jacksonville teen driver accident lawyer work with you in the case can be the deciding factor in a successful settlement. Let us look at some ways we can assist in developing and filing your claim or lawsuit against the teenage motorist.
- Estimate the Value of Your Losses: Our lawyer can estimate your total losses by compiling your expenses and evaluating the injury’s impact on your daily life.
- Comply with Filing Deadlines: Our Jacksonville teen driver accident lawyer will also help you file your case according to regulations. Some mistakes can bar you from pursuing compensation, so it’s important to have someone with experience who can prevent these costly errors.
- Be Your Representative: The attorney can present the claim or lawsuit on your behalf with the auto insurance company or the civil court. They will know how to defend your side of the accident and counsel you on what to say if you have to testify.
- Negotiate the Settlement Amount: If you do not agree with the insurance company’s offer, we can also help you negotiate with them for a fairer outcome.
How Shared Fault Reduces Your Settlement
The comparative negligence rules in Florida Statutes Section 768.81 can reduce your recoverable losses if the claims adjuster or court finds you partly liable for the Jacksonville teenage driving accident.
To illustrate, let us say you are 25 percent at fault while the teen is 75 percent at fault. That means you will only get 75 percent of the settlement value.
Having our accident lawyer review the case before filing helps us support your claims more effectively, as we have time to build a compelling case with a solid body of evidence.
Talk to the Legal Team Today
If you were in an accident because of a teenage driver in Jacksonville, approach the law offices of Anidjar & Levine, and we will assist you. Having handled injury and accident cases since 2005, our team has the legal knowledge, resources, and experience to guide you on your teen driver collision case.
Our Jacksonville teen driver accident lawyer is ready to work with you once you are ready. To get started, you can schedule a free evaluation by sending us the case details online. You can also call for other inquiries regarding our services.
We Can Help.