Talk to Your Teen About What to Do After a Car WreckBy Stewart J. Guss on December 14th, 2017
Teen drivers are the stuff of parental nightmares. When your teens first take to the road, you are destined for dread. Learning to drive, however, is a natural step in the progression toward the independence of adulthood. If your teen’s was involved in a car accident, however, things become even more worrisome, but you can help your teen become a safer driver and to know what to do in the event of a car accident.
Driving is dangerous, and accidents happen. If your teen driver was in a car accident, contact the legal team at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law. We’re here to help.
Teen Drivers and Car Accidents
Talk to your teen drivers about the dangers of driving. Instill in them a commitment to always make safety a priority, and carefully explain the steps they should take if they ever are in a car accident. Share with them the important steps that every driver should follow when accidents occur:
- Stay calm
- Ensure everyone’s safety
- Call 911
- Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver(s)
- Take notes
- Take pictures at the scene
- Phone home
Accidents are upsetting, but it’s always in your best interest to remain calm, cool, and collected (or as close to this as possible). The better you contain your emotions, the better you’ll handle the situation. Letting panic or stress take over only leads to further complications. Accidents happen, and remaining calm can keep things in perspective and keep the situation from escalating out of control.
If possible, set up emergency flares or warning cones and attempt to secure the safety of those at the scene of the accident.
A serious car accident is a 911 situation. Call 911 immediately, and inform the dispatcher of any evident injuries. Accurately describe the emergency and its location. If you’re not sure of your location, describe any landmarks, including street signs, nearby businesses, or even the scenery. Don’t end the call until the dispatcher has all the necessary information.
If the accident isn’t an emergency, and if for some reason the police don’t come to the scene, file an incident report with the appropriate police department as soon as possible.
You must exchange insurance and contact information with the other driver(s). Take down the names, addresses, telephone numbers, insurance companies and policies, and any other pertinent information for those other drivers. If another driver isn’t the car’s owner, also request the owner’s information. To start a claim with your insurance company, you’ll need this information. If police are on the scene, they’ll help with this exchange.
Teen drivers (and every driver) should, of course, always have their driver’s licenses, registration, and insurance information easily accessible.
Take notes on your phone (or with pen and paper—it’s a good idea to keep a pen and notebook in every vehicle) about how the accident transpired and what ensued while the memories are fresh in your mind. Make a quick sketch of the area and the layout of the accident. With the stress and upset of a car accident, it’s easy to lose track of the details.
Record eyewitness testimony and obtain witness contact information. Record the name of the officer who attended the scene. Finally, if the other driver apologizes, admits fault, shares details about the accident, or receives a citation, record that information.
With the advent of the smartphone, young drivers are more than capable of taking pictures at the accident scene. Whenever possible take pictures of the accident before the vehicles are moved. Take plenty of pictures from all angles, and ensure that you get photos that contain both the license plates and the damage in the same shot.
Finally, call home, which can be one of the most difficult tasks of all. Let your teen driver know that this is a vital step in the aftermath of an accident. As parents, you need to not only know what happened, but also to be assured of your child’s safety.
Once your teen driver has navigated this course, retain an experienced Texas car accident attorney. Car accident claims are complicated, so don’t leave the resolution of yours to chance.
What Not to Do
If involved in a car accident, your young driver should not make these important mistakes:
- Your teenager cannot allow the other driver to intimidate her into making any admissions of guilt or apologies. Such admissions can be employed later as evidence of fault in the case.
- Abstain from making statements about the accident, unless asked directly by an officer on the scene. This includes discussing the accident on social media. Allow your car accident lawyer to determine what’s necessary to share and how to apportion fault based on the facts of the claim.
For a Free Consultation, Contact an Experienced Houston Car Accident Lawyer Today
If your teenager was involved in a car accident, you know just how terrifying that is. Car accidents are frightening, and if your child was involved in one, it’s even more so. At Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, our legal team understands and is here to help. We’ll thoroughly investigate and evaluate all the evidence related to your young driver’s accident, explain your rights, and help you navigate through every step of the legal process. Please send us an email through our online contact form or call our team at 800-898-4877 for a free consultation today.Remember—you pay us nothing up front when we take your case, and you pay us nothing unless and until we’ve won your recovery.