Learning to drive is a major milestone in a young person’s life, but with newfound freedom comes responsibility. Student drivers have to learn the rules of the road, be aware of their surroundings, and make smart decisions all at once.
But young drivers can make dangerous mistakes that cause crashes and severe injuries – even when a driving instructor is in the car with them. Plus, accidents involving student drivers can make any potential legal action very complex.
So, who is responsible if a learner driver crashes? Keep reading to learn more.
Responsibilities of the student
If a learner driver is involved in a car accident, they may be held responsible for any damages or injuries. This is especially true if an investigation shows that they caused the accident through negligence or recklessness.
For example, if they were speeding, failed to signal when turning, or ran a red light, being a student doesn’t get them off the hook; they could face liability.
Responsibilities of the instructor
However, responsibility for the accident may not always fall solely on the student. Sometimes, the instructor supervising a learner driver may share some responsibility. The instructor is responsible for adequately preparing the student driver to obey traffic laws, employ defensive driving techniques, and know how to maintain control of the vehicle.
If an instructor fails to properly instruct the learner driver or allows them to operate a vehicle before they’re ready, the results could be disastrous. The instructor could also be held liable for any damages or injuries that occur as a result of the accident.
The responsibility of the driver’s ed program
In addition to the driving instructor, the driver’s education program that the learner driver is enrolled in may also be held responsible. Driver’s ed programs are designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to drive safely. If the program fails to do so, an accident victim could sue the school.
Other parties that may be involved
It’s important to note that car accidents caused by learner drivers can have a significant impact on other parties involved as well. Pedestrians, other drivers, and property owners may all be impacted by the accident and they may have a right to seek compensation.
A skilled attorney can investigate the accident to find out why it took place and who’s to blame. But this investigation needs to start as soon as possible because key evidence could quickly disappear.
For example, skid marks can show that the student driver was speeding before the wreck occurred. If it takes too long for the investigation to begin, rain could wash those skid marks away.
Liability for a car accident caused by a learner driver isn’t always straightforward. The circumstances surrounding the accident, as well as the actions of all parties involved, will need to be carefully examined to determine who is responsible.
It’s also important to consider the role of insurance companies in car accidents involving learner drivers. In most cases, the learner driver will be covered by the insurance policy of the car they’re driving, whether it’s their own or one provided by the driver’s ed program.
However, the insurance company may deny coverage, claiming that someone other than the student caused the accident.
Insurance companies are notorious for trying to trick accident victims into accepting settlement offers that don’t come close to covering all of their accident-related expenses. Adjusters will often ask victims misleading questions meant to get the victim to admit fault. If the victim falls for the trick, they could very well find it impossible to obtain the compensation they have coming.
Please don’t let this happen to you. Never say anything to an insurance adjuster without having your attorney present. Better yet, refer all insurance company communications to your Florida car accident lawyer.
Contact Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath
Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath has over three decades of experience representing people involved in car crashes. We’ll do everything we can to help ensure you get the money you deserve from all liable parties.
You can give us a call at (561) 655-1990, or use our online contact form to schedule a free evaluation of your case.