What Happens If You Get in an Accident with a Permit in California?
If a driver with a learner’s permit is found at fault in a California car accident, the driver is usually covered by a parent’s auto insurance policy. Teen drivers could also face a suspended permit if they broke a traffic law.
New drivers venture out on California roads every day. Young drivers will be excited to experience the freedom behind the wheel, but their lack of caution and experience can get them into trouble.
Teen drivers are more prone to make a mistake that leads to dangerous accidents on the road. And when collisions occur, young drivers and their parents may wonder who will be held responsible for an accident and who will have to pay for damages.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a California Car Accident Lawyer
When a teen driver is unfairly blamed for an accident or is seriously hurt in a crash, it’s often smart to have a skilled California car accident Lawyer look over a case. If you are struck by a teen driver and suffer a serious injury, it’s also a good idea to speak with a skilled lawyer about your options to seek recovery support. Contact Maison Law of California for a free case consultation to get your questions answered.
Insurance companies for at-fault drivers like to shift blame and downplay how bad injuries really are. These tactics are used to reduce the amount of support an insurance provider must pay out. At Maison Law, we fight back and make sure injured victims, young and old, receive what they need to fully heal.
California Teen Driving Dangers
The statistics that show the dangers young drivers represent are nearly endless. While some teen drivers are focused on safety and try hard to be good drivers, all teens struggle with a lack of experience on the road and sometimes focus on things other than the lanes ahead. Each year they cause accidents at a higher rate than any other age group.
The Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that young drivers made up 5.1 % of all licensed drivers in 2020, yet they accounted for 8.5% of all drivers involved in fatal crashes.
California’s Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) found that California teen motor vehicle fatalities (age 15-19) tragically increased from 58 cases in 2019 to 73 cases in 2020.
The sometimes reckless and careless behavior of young people behind the wheel puts those teens and other motorists at extreme risk each year. California tries not to give the youngest drivers too much freedom too fast, but these precautions aren’t always enough to prevent devastating accidents.
Liability in California Traffic Accidents Involving Drivers with Learner’s Permits
California issues Instructional Permits (Learner’s Permits) to drivers as young as 15 ½ years old. They must complete driver education classes and take a knowledge test. Once they have their learner’s permit, they are then only allowed to drive with an adult in the car.
Even with an adult (often a parent) nearby, frightening accidents are still common. Parents take responsibility for training their children to drive, and they also accept financial liability in an accident. The teen should be covered by the parent’s insurance policy in an accident and hopefully, the parent has made a call beforehand to alert an insurance agent that they are adding a new driver.
Car insurance companies can refuse coverage in some instances. This rejection of a claim is seen when young motorists are on the road and have an accident without following the rules set forth by the DMV for teen drivers.
The California DMV website explains that all drivers must carry an insurance card proving they have at least $15,000 in coverage for injury or death of 1 person per accident. $30,000 for injury or death of 2 or more persons per accident. $5,000 for any property damage per accident. In California, when parents or guardians sign for a minor to get a Driver’s License or permit, they are stating that they will accept financial responsibility for that minor.
We have a page with more information on guidelines for qualifying for a learner’s permit in our Ultimate Guide to California Teen Driving Safety.
Penalties for Teen Driving Violations in California
Teen drivers who are found at fault for a crash on a California freeway or boulevard might face traffic citations and fines. In some cases, their learner’s permit will get suspended or revoked. This could happen if a teen with a permit was driving without an adult in the car.
Teens who break the law by driving while impaired or by leaving the scene of an accident will also face criminal charges. Their actions could result in misdemeanors or felony charges. Teens could end up serving time in a juvenile facility if an offense is serious enough.
What Are the Restrictions on Teen Drivers in California with a Learner’s Permit?
Teens with a learner’s permit must obey the guidelines set forth by California Transportation Officials. Practice is key to a young driver learning to drive safely, but the California DMV wants to make sure that new drivers don’t face this new experience alone.
- Teens with instruction permits cannot drive alone at any time.
- They are allowed to practice driving with an adult in the passenger’s seat.
- The adult must be close enough to be able to take control of the vehicle if necessary.
- The adult must be someone who is at least 25 years old. The person is often a parent or guardian or a driving instructor.
What If Teen Drivers Are Blamed for Accidents They Didn’t Cause
Statistically, teen drivers cause more accidents than older drivers. Their lack of experience on the road often leads them to make errors that cause a crash. It’s true that some drivers are simply more reckless at a young age. They are also more susceptible to distractions like cell phones.
But that doesn’t mean all accidents involving a teen driver are the young driver’s fault. It’s critical that young drivers unfairly blamed in accidents seek legal representation. A car insurance adjuster can attempt to shift blame to a teen driver based on stereotypes, simply to avoid having to offer full support to victims. Don’t let this happen to your child. Talk with Maison Law’s skilled California Car Accident Lawyers in a free consultation to find out how to fight back against a false accusation.
Contact a California Car Accident Lawyer Serving Teen and Adult Drivers
If you or a loved one are hurt in an accident involving a teen driver, it’s critical that you know every benefit available during recovery. A car insurance company isn’t required to inform you of these rights and benefits.
Maison Law’s California Car Accident Lawyers offer a free case consultation to drivers of any age who have been injured by a careless driver or have unfairly been blamed for a crash. There’s no obligation to victims or their families, but if you decide we can help you earn more for your injury claim, you won’t need any upfront money. We don’t get paid unless we win your case for you.