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Who can you hold liable if you’re in a crash caused by a teen driver?

Teen drivers have a reputation for distracted and sometimes reckless driving. Even novice teen drivers who are conscientious and careful behind the wheel lack the experience to make the right move when they encounter an unexpected situation.

If you have suffered serious injuries because of a crash caused by a teen driver, who will cover your medical bills and other expenses? Most teens, at least while they’re still at home, don’t have their own car insurance. If they do, it may not cover much, and it may hardly seem worthwhile to hold them liable in civil court.

What about parental responsibility?

But what about their parents? Teens who are still living at home are typically on their parents’ car insurance policies. Therefore, that policy can give you some compensation. Further, if a teen was driving a car that is owned by a parent, that parent can be held liable.

New York, like most states, recognizes “vicarious liability” and what is referred to as “follow the car” liability. That means a person who lets someone else use their vehicle can be held liable for a crash even if they weren’t involved in it.

Our state’s Vehicle and Traffic Law states, “Every owner of a vehicle used or operated in this state shall be liable and responsible for death or injuries to person or property resulting from negligence in the use or operation of such vehicle…by any person using or operating the same with the permission, express or implied, of such owner.”

If you or a loved one was injured in a crash caused by a teen driver, it’s important to explore all avenues for obtaining the compensation you need for expenses and damages. An experienced attorney can help.