Teenage Car Accidents
Most common auto accidents involving teenagers is because of inexperience behind the wheel, speeding and distracted driving. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) list several factors that cause teenage car accidents; failing to obey traffic rules and regulations such as speeding. Teenagers cannot judge the movement of their cars at high rates of speed. CDC also lists other causes for teenage car accidents including driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs; driving while engaged in distractions (eating, drinking liquids, sending or receiving text messages or e-mails); driving while using their handheld cell phones and blasting music or changing radio stations.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that 2000 teenagers die in car accidents on a yearly basis. 200,000 teens are injured annually and 5,000 teenagers are involved in fatal car accidents each year. Teenagers are four times more likely to be issued traffic violations for use of electronic devices by texting, reading or sending texts/e-mails on handheld cellphones. You often see teenagers on the phone and driving erratically crossing over lane markings or leaving the traveled portion of the road. Teenagers are inexperienced in driving in inclement weather of rain, snow or ice and do not know how their cars react differently in slowing, stopping or staying on the road.
The law office of Dominick J. Robustelli & Associates has handled hundreds of teen accident cases. In Mr. Robustelli’s 41 years of practicing personal injury law, a few years back we represented a college student 19 years of age who was a passenger in a car being driven by her teenage friend from school in upstate New York to their home in Westchester County. The teen driver was traveling too fast and her car left the roadway and hit a tree on the passenger side of the vehicle where our client was seated. Our teenage client died immediately. Later on toxicology tests were revealed and it was found out that the driver had been smoking marijuana. The car that left the road was insured with a $250,000 policy. One of the insurance companies defense was that the economic loss from the teenager’s death was miniscule since she was not working and had no dependents to support. Also, no conscious pain and suffering could be proven. The parents of the deceased teenager refused to settle the case for less than the full policy. After much discovery, the teenage driver’s car insurance finally paid the full $250,000 policy.
Our law firm is presently handling a case where we represent an 18 year old male who was a passenger in the rear of a car that left the roadway and rolled over. The car had 7 passengers in a small SUV and because of the distraction from the passengers, the teenage driver lost control of his car, left the roadway and rolled over. Our client, the 18 year old back seat passenger, with a seatbelt on, fractured his scapula, had a fracture of his cervical spine, had compression fractures to his thoracic (mid back) vertebrae and micro fractures of 7 thoracic vertebrae’s. Another of the teenage passenger sustained a skull fracture with surgery. 2 other passengers had neck and back muscle injuries. All of the passenger were from the same high school and had just left school when the accident occurred. Later on, toxicology screen was done on the 18 year old driver and it was found out he was under the influence of marijuana. The case has not been settled because the insurance policy is only $100,000 per person/300,000 per accident and the injuries of all the passengers far exceed the value of $100,000 for each teenager and $300,000 for all in juried parties.
The law firm of Dominick J. Robustelli & Associates, PLLC has 41 years of experience dealing with serious injured teenagers who are in car accidents. If you or a loved one has been involved with a teenage driver or teenage injured passenger, call the law firm of Dominick J. Robustelli & Associates at (800) 727-7084.