Unfortunately, teenagers often lack the experience of other drivers on the road—and that’s as true in Savannah as anywhere. Combined with underdeveloped frontal lobes—or, more simply put, brains that simply have not grown up yet—this lack of experience can substantially increase accident risk for teens on Savannah’s roads. Sixteen-year-olds have higher crash rates than drivers of any other age for one key reason: they lack the experience to know how to handle many common hazards on the road.
For an inexperienced driver, even minor changes in conditions can represent big problems on the road. Even simple things like increased wind and rain or an unexpected stop by another driver can cause inexperienced drivers to overcompensate, often causing significant injury and accidents. If you suffered injuries in an accident with an experienced driver in Savannah, contact Hasner Law today at (912) 234-2334 to learn more. With a proven history of significant results in a wide range of personal injury cases, including accidents involving inexperienced drivers, we can help you fight for the compensation you deserve after your injuries.
How Does an Experienced Driver Change the Equation?
Inexperienced drivers may slam on the brakes when they should ease them on or hit the accelerator hard when they should give the car more time to correct. Until muscle memory develops fully, along with the more developed frontal lobes that will improve decision-making ability, many drivers may need to think through the proper response before they can stop the vehicle or prevent an accident. Unfortunately, by the time they think it through, the solution often arrives too late to stop the accident. In some cases, that longer processing power can increase the injuries caused by the accident simply because an inexperienced driver lacks the responses that could help decrease or prevent injuries. Common injuries after accidents with inexperienced drivers include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord damage, including paralysis
- Broken bones
- Organ damage
- Sprains, strains, and soft tissue damage
In many cases, the injuries received from an accident with an experienced driver may increase in severity compared to injuries received in an accident with an experienced driver. Teens may also tense up or panic more during or after an accident, increasing injury for the passengers in the inexperienced driver’s vehicle.
Do Inexperienced Drivers Bear Different Liability?
Every driver on the road bears a duty of care to every other driver—and that includes inexperienced drivers, even those who just received their license. When drivers take to the road alone, with a license, for the first time, they accept that duty of care to other drivers on the road. They must do their best to ensure the safety of those other drivers by following traffic laws, adhering to the rules of the road, and avoiding accidents where possible. This duty of care remains unchanged regardless of the experience of the driver—or the lack thereof.
That does not, of course, mean that an inexperienced driver always bears responsibility for an accident. Keep in mind that the police will evaluate the accident at the scene, and insurance adjusters will likely evaluate all the evidence after the fact. If you caused or contributed to the accident by driving irresponsibly, driving distracted, or failing to follow the rules of the road, you will bear at least a portion of the financial liability for the accident. Generally, the amount you can claim drops by the percentage of your fault: if, for example, you caused 20 percent of the accident, you will receive 20 percent less than if the inexperienced driver had caused the accident on their own.
Typically, accident victims ask for several types of compensation for their injuries. The amount you receive will vary based on the extent of your injuries, the terms of the insurance policy, and the conditions of the accident, but claimants often seek damages for:
- Medical expenses associated with the accident, including ongoing medical expenses for serious injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Compensation for lost wages due to work missed because of your injuries
- Reparation for lost income potential if you suffered a permanent disability that left you unable to return to work in your former capacity
Working with a lawyer is the most effective way to calculate the funds the inexperienced driver’s insurance company owes you after your accident. Many damages require evidence or even expert testimony to properly establish; an experienced attorney can help you understand how to best plead your claim.
Do Insurance Companies Fight Harder to Avoid Payment After an Accident With an Inexperienced Driver?
Many parents of teens bemoan the need to pay high insurance premiums to keep their young drivers insured. Unfortunately, teens have increased insurance premiums for good reason: they have a higher rate of crashes and often cause more significant injuries than older, more experienced drivers. While insurance companies do recognize the damages often caused by inexperienced drivers, the company’s adjuster may attempt to limit the company’s financial liability using a variety of familiar strategies.
- Attempting to prove your injuries occurred at another time, not as a result of the accident.
- Attempting to prove that you caused the majority of the accident, freeing the insurance company from financial liability.
- Attempting to prove that your injuries cause less trouble than you claim.
- Providing a low initial settlement offer that does not reflect the full amount you deserve for your injuries.
Do I Need a Lawyer for an Accident With an Inexperienced Driver?
Inexperience on the part of the other driver does not change your need for a lawyer after an accident. In many cases, a lawyer can offer help and support—preventing you from saying something that could reduce the amount of your settlement, for example. Most importantly, for many clients, a lawyer can help substantially increase the amount they receive for their injuries, whether via an out-of-court settlement or a lawsuit before the court.
If you suffered injuries in an accident with an inexperienced driver in Savannah, do not wait to seek legal support. A trusted attorney can spare you the financial and emotional hardship of medical bills, property damage, and challenging insurance companies. Contact Hasner Law online or at (912) 234-2334 today to learn more about how to protect yourself in the wake of an accident with an inexperienced driver.