When your teen is a passenger in a car crash: What can you do?

In a recent blog post, we discussed how car accidents were still the leading cause of death for teenagers and how parents could help their teens become safer drivers. But what about when teenagers are the passenger of a reckless driver?

Whether it was because of peer pressure or a misjudgment, teenagers who are passengers in the vehicle of a negligent young driver face considerable risk.

Here are some things that parents should know in these stressful and frightening situations.

Injured passengers deserve compensation too

Passengers can be entitled to collect compensation if they suffer an injury because of someone else’s negligence, even if they were in the car with the reckless driver. As long as they did not contribute to the accident or distract the driver, then they can file a claim.

This is because drivers have a duty to prevent harm to other drivers or passengers on Pennsylvania roads, including their own passengers.

However, filing a claim might not be so easy

Teenagers place significant value on their friendships and are incredibly loyal to their friends.

That is usually why teenagers might hesitate to file a claim for compensation if their friend was driving. Even if their friend caused the accident and their subsequent injuries, they might not want to hold their friend responsible and put the friendship at risk.

This can cause significant issues, since:

  • Compensation often covers expensive medical bills from receiving treatment for injuries
  • Pennsylvanians only have two years to file an injury claim and receive compensation
  • Waiting to file a claim can cause complications for the case

What can parents do?

Situations like this are undoubtedly uncomfortable. Of course, parents do not want to hurt their child’s relationship with their friend. But if the friend is liable for their child’s injuries, then their child deserves compensation.

Understanding personal injury law can be complex. However, parents can reassure their child that filing a claim does not force their friend to pay for their injuries. Filing a personal injury claim usually requires the insurance company of the at-fault party to cover compensation for any damages or injuries.