How Can Parents Help Advocate Before and After Their Teenager is Involved in an Accident?

Young Drivers are Often Unfairly Blamed for the Wreck, Regardless of the Circumstances:

When a teenage driver is involved in an accident, the presumption is typically that they were responsible for causing the wreck. It’s one of those unfair stereotypes and it is even more prevalent for male drivers. At Flattmann Law, we have seen examples of this scenario over and over again.  So, how can parents help advocate for their teen drivers, both at the accident scene and during the insurance claims process?

Tips for Being Proactive (Getting a Dashcam and Preparing Your Teen Driver):

Advocating for your teen driver begins way before an accident happens. One tip is to equip the car your teen will be driving with a dashcam. Video footage proving that the other party was at fault can save a teen from being falsely blamed for an accident, especially when the details of the wreck are not straightforward (ie. a green light/red light scenario).

Another tip for parents is to talk to prepare their teen regarding what to do if an accident happens. After a wreck, teens are often shaken up, even more so than older drivers.  Make sure your teen knows what to do after a wreck:

  • Make sure they are okay and check on others involved, if it is safe to do so.
  • Call 911 first, then call you.
  • If it is safe, take photos and videos of the scene and the other vehicle.
  • Stay calm while talking to the police.
  • Obtain the other driver’s insurance and contact information.

Tips for Handling the Insurance Claims Process:

Teens are usually listed as an authorized driver on their parents’ auto insurance policy, and it is the parent who should initiate and pursue the insurance claim, not the teen. If you choose to use this as a learning experience for your teen and let them shadow you through the process, great! But the parent (not the teen) should really handle the process.

First, make sure to report the claim to your insurance company, even if the other driver was at fault.  Chances are that the other driver will be filing a claim with your insurance, so letting the insurance company know your teen’s version of the story before that happens is important.

Second, remember you (and your teen) are NOT required to give a recorded statement to the other person’s insurance company. This is even more important for teens, who may be easily confused with trying to put words to the wreck they experienced. While you do want to cooperate with your own insurance company, parents should still be cautious and monitor what their teen says in recounting the facts of the wreck.

Finally, make sure your teen does not post anything having to do with the wreck on social media. Even statements, photos, or videos that seem harmless can be misconstrued. Believe us! The insurance company and other parties involved in the wreck may be monitoring your teen’s social media accounts waiting for them to slip up.

Reassure Your Teen After a Wreck:

It is not uncommon for anyone involved in a wreck to be reluctant to get back behind the wheel, and for teens, this is even more prevalent. They just started driving and whack…the accident happened! As parents, we have to reassure our teen drivers of their abilities and make sure they learn from the accident. After a wreck, parents should drive with their teens until they feel comfortable again to drive by themselves.

Has Your Teen Been Injured In A Wreck And You Have Questions About Handling Your Teen Drivers' Wreck?

If you have questions about handling your teen driver’s wreck contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Madisonville, Goodbee, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.

Grady Flattmann
Connect with me
Local Covington, Louisiana attorney focusing 100% on personal injury matters.