Teenage drivers are more likely to be involved in car accidents. While this may be statistically true, it does not mean that the teen driver is at fault.
Whether or not a person can claim damages from a car accident has nothing to do with their age, but rather their legal responsibility resulting from the collision.
An experienced Denver car accident lawyer can work with teenagers and their parents to help with incidents due to the negligence of other drivers. Contact a Denver teen driver accident lawyer who can fight for their rights following an accident.
Colorado Laws Regarding Car Accidents
Any legal action taken against another driver will be considered a civil action. This means that regardless of a defendant’s legal status in the criminal justice system, they can still be held liable by a civil court.
Whether or not the at-fault party was charged with a crime resulting from the accident, an injured person can still make a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance. Most of these claims will be examined through the legal theory of negligence.
Simply put, negligence is when a person has a responsibility to protect other people under the law, and through an action that they take, causes harm to that protected person. More precisely, there are five elements that must be present for a successful negligence case. These are:
- Duty – In certain situations, a person has a legal responsibility to protect others. This is known as a duty of care. All drivers, teens and adults alike, have a duty to protect other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians
- Breach – A breach of the duty of care arises when a person takes an action, or fails to act, in a way that breaks the duty of care. Examples can include speeding, failing to stop at a stop sign, or tailgating. This is the element most often in dispute in car accident cases
- Causation – The plaintiff must demonstrate that the injuries were caused by the defendant’s breach of the duty of care. Insurance companies will often argue that the injuries were preexisting
- Scope – The injuries must be foreseeable considering the facts of the case. Since serious injury or even death can occur from car accidents, this is rarely an issue
- Damages – The plaintiff must have physical injuries to prevail in their case. While mental anguish can be added on, it must be accompanied by physical harm
Statute of Limitations in Car Accident Cases
Another aspect of the law to remember is the statute of limitations. This is simply the time limit that the court imposes on plaintiffs to file a case in court. Colorado Revised Statute 13-80-101 gives plaintiffs three years from the date of the accident to file in court.
While this may seem like a long time, receiving medical treatment and negotiations for a settlement may take months or even years. Time is of the essence in all car accident cases. Contact a Denver teen driver accidents lawyer today.
Talk to a Denver Teen Driver Accident Attorney
If you are a teenager who has been injured while driving or riding in a car, you have the same rights as adults. This includes the right to seek compensation for injuries that you have suffered due to the negligence of others.
A Denver teen driver accident attorney will sit down with you and your parents to hear your side of the story, gather evidence, and pursue your case with diligence and passion. If your case goes to trial, a lawyer will be by your side every step of the way. A minor under 18 also has the right to legal action, and an attorney will work with you and your parents to protect your rights.