Accident with Student Drivers: Who’s Responsible?
Auto accidents are often complex legal matters, as various people are involved, attempting to determine who is at fault for the accident. In addition to various parties being involved, multiple factors may have led to the accident, including distracted driving, speeding, inadequate following distance, improper lane changes, road hazards, inclement weather, and defective car parts. To make matters more confusing, additional factors come into play in auto accidents with student drivers. Although accidents with student drivers are relatively rare, they do occur. Multiple new legal questions arise in accidents with student drivers, including who is responsible, and who can the other driver sue. In order to provide clarification about auto accidents with student drivers, the following concepts are discussed.
In order to determine the nature of the accident, a few common accidents involving student drivers exist. The first type of accident with a student driver involves accidents that result in injuries to other passengers in the vehicle. In many student driver accidents, other passengers in the car become injured, including the teacher and other students. The second type of accident with a student driver may be accidents that result in injuries to pedestrians or cyclists. Because student drivers have limited experience responding to other people on the road, they may fail to recognize a pedestrian or cyclist. Therefore, a student driver may turn when a cyclist is on the road, or drive across a crosswalk with a pedestrian. The third common type of student driver accidents are accidents that result in injuries to drivers and passengers in other vehicles. Because student drivers are still becoming affiliated with operating a vehicle, they may fail to brake, brake too late, or perform a number of new driver mistakes.
Furthermore, student drivers must be aware of the responsibility that is carried with operating a vehicle. If a student driver runs a stop sign, runs a red light, fails to yield to pedestrians, speeds, or performs nearly any blatantly illegal maneuver, they could be held responsible for accident damages and injuries. If you become injured in a student driver accident, you must collect evidence to provide in court. Evidence should include police reports, photos of injuries, photos of damages, photos of the accident, additional factors that caused the accident (i.e. a blocked road sign), and witness testimony.
Driving instructors may be held liable in some cases, if they failed to exhibit reasonable care to prevent accidents. It is the driver’s responsibility to guide student drivers while driving, and intervene if the student is making a mistake. If a student’s instructor fails to do so, they could be held liable for injuries and damages.
The driving school may be held liable if the school had knowledge of hiring an unqualified instructor, or allowed an employee who continuously exhibited poor teaching behavior to teach. Additionally, if the driving school was aware of a student driving an unsafe car, such as a car with faulty breaks, a flat tire, or issues maneuvering, the school may be held liable. In the court room, the judge will also look at how you contributed to the accident. By law, student driver vehicles are required to warn others that student drivers are on the road. For this reason, it is your responsibility to remain aware, and drive safely around them. For example, if you cut off the student driver without using a signal, causing them to crash into you, the judge may find you at fault for the accident.
Auto accidents with student drivers introduce various new factors, in comparison to regular auto accidents. Depending on the nature of the accident, multiple parties may be held liable legally, including the student driver, the driving instructor, the driving school, and you. In order to promote safety and prevent accidents, always maintain a safe following distance behind student drivers. Allow student drivers to have plenty of room on the road, and do not drive recklessly, causing student drivers to panic and drive impulsively, contributing to the potential of an accident. If you become involved in an auto accident with a student driver, immediately seek medical attention, and call the police. Gather all information, including the student driver’s name, the instructor’s name, the driving school, the license plate, witness contact information, and photograph the accident scene. The next step is to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a car crash or truck accident and are in need of an accident attorney in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Naples, Ocala, Orlando, Tampa, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Ft. Myers or any other city in Florida –remember after 911, call 411! 1-800-411-PAIN can put you in touch with an experienced, aggressive network attorney who will fight for your rights and get the maximum compensation you deserve. Don’t forget to follow 411 PAIN on Twitter (@411PAIN), keep up with the conversation at #411PAIN and check out the 411 PAIN event gallery 411painevents.com!