Updated: Mar 6
Having the ability to drive is a big part of a teenager's life. They hold their license like a badge of honor. Although, for the parents of those teenagers, that license can be a nightmare. Especially when parents look at the stats put out by the CDC relating to car accidents. Teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 are at a high risk level of getting into an accident because they are novice drivers. They also tend to be more distracted by their smartphones.
Because accidents are more common among teenagers, it is important to give them the tools they need to drive safely. That is why our car accident attorneys have compiled a list as to what should be done after an accident.
6 Tips to teach your teen how to handle a car accident
Step 1: Tell them to relax
Since driving is so new to teenagers, an accident is definitely going to shake their spirit. It is only natural that their response to the incident will be to panic, therefore reminding them to breathe and stay calm is important. Make sure if they do speak to the other driver, they do not admit fault or place blame on the other driver.
Step 2: Have an emergency kit
If you have a small box, you can put an emergency kit in the glove compartment of your teenagers car. This box should include everything they need, such as a pen, small paper, a checklist and emergency medical supplies. Explain to them that all of that is contained in the box and that they should continue to take the next steps. Such as, but not limited to, getting the other person’s insurance, driver's license, and taking pictures of the accident.
Step 3: Safety first
Make sure your child knows that your priority is their safety. They will probably be more worried that you are mad at them than anything else, so assure them it will be ok. After that, calmly instruct them to call 911. Even if the accident is minor, you need a police report.
Additionally, it is important to tell your teen to check for any injuries. They can utilize the first aid kit in the emergency kit, but if it is more serious, tell them to get medical attention as soon as possible.
Step 4: Document and explain
Have your child explain to you the whole situation from start to finish. Tell them they can also share their information with the other individual involved in the accident, such as their name and insurance. Beyond that, they do not need to give any additional information.
If your teen wants to be proactive with their car accident claim, they should take notes on some of the following things:
The other car: Year, make, model, and color
The names of the other driver and passenger (include their addresses and phone numbers)
The exact location of the accident
What their speed was at the time of impact
The date and time of the accident
What the weather conditions were like
The time that the police arrived, the name and badge number of the officers on site
The Road conditions
The information of any witnesses (names and contact info)
Finally, if your teen is at fault, instruct them to say nothing.
What your teen should do once the cops arrive
When the cops arrive, they will file a police report. Once that is done, they are usually free to go, unless a tow truck needs to be called. In that case, someone will need to come pick them up.
Things to keep in mind after your teenager leaves the scene
When your teenager leaves the scene of an accident, they are bound to have numerous thoughts running through their head. These things can include emotional fears such as vehophobia, or just wondering what they have to do next. Let them know that you're always there to help and that you will help them navigate through the situation.
Affects that may not be immediately noticeable
Your teen may not know it at the time of the accident, but make sure they fully check that they do not have any physical injuries. Even if it is only a small injury, it's important that they get medical attention immediately. This is pertinent to their health, as well as if you are going to make a case. The reason this is important is because many injuries from car accidents aren't felt till days later due to the flow of adrenaline in the body. Therefore, it is always good to get checked out after an accident.
Calls or paperwork that comes from the other drivers insurance company
In these types of accidents, especially if your teen is not at fault, it is common that insurance companies will try to play on your child's innocence. The other drivers insurance company may offer a settlement or send out paperwork for your child to sign, relating to the accident. Advise them not to sign anything, instead compile the information to later give to your attorney.
How to help your teen make a strong case to present to a car accident attorney
Although this part may be difficult for your teen, have them write down exactly what happened during the accident while it is still fresh in their minds. All pieces of information gathered will only help your case. Lastly, make sure the claim was filed with your insurance company and that your teen gets some rest.
Do I need a car accident attorney for my teenagers case?
If your teen was injured in the accident caused by someone else's negligence, then it is definitely a smart idea to call an experienced personal injury attorney, like those that work at Demesmin and Dover Law Firm. They can help you through the process and ensure that your teen is in good hands. Call your accident attorneys today at 866-954-MORE (6673) for your free consultation.