Teenagers in Florida can get Learner’s Permits and start operating motor vehicles under the supervision of their parent(s) or guardian(s) when they are just 15 years old. They can get full driver’s licenses at the age of 16. Unfortunately, this means that on any given day, there are hundreds—if not thousands—of drivers on Florida state roads whose brains are not fully developed and who are statistically much more likely to cause accidents than any other demographic.
Teen driving accidents in Wesley Chapel can be just as harmful and dangerous as accidents caused by fully grown adults, and they can often make for uniquely complicated recovery processes as well. If a teenage driver left you seriously injured by negligently causing a crash, you should contact an experienced car accident attorney at Distasio Law Firm.
Holding Parents or Guardian Liable for Damages
Depending on how old a teen driver is when they get into an accident in Wesley Chapel or anywhere else in the Sunshine State, multiple parties may hold civil liability for the consequences of the wreck. First and foremost, the teenager themselves can be held financially accountable for the effects of a serious collision, as Florida law only prohibits children under six years old from having civil liability for their actions.
In practice, though, it is generally more financially and legally prudent to pursue a claim against the parent(s) or guardian(s) of a teen driver who negligently causes a crash. This is possible because Florida law requires a parent or guardian to sign a consent form for any person under 18 to receive a learner’s permit or driver’s license, which remains legally enforceable until that driver turns 18.
Alternatively, if a teenager is driving a vehicle legally owned or leased by another person, that person—whether the teen’s parent, guardian, or anyone else—could hold civil liability under the Dangerous Instrumentality Law for any accident the teen causes. A seasoned legal professional from Distasio Law Firm could go into further detail about who you could take action against in your particular situation during a private consultation.
What Deadlines Apply to Teen Driver Accident Claims?
The exact deadline for pursuing insurance claims over teen driving accidents in Wesley Chapel may vary from policy to policy. When filing a lawsuit over this or any other type of auto accident, though, Florida Statutes § 95.11(3) sets one near-universal deadline.
This “statute of limitations” grants virtually everyone who suffers a personal injury in Florida through someone else’s misconduct a maximum of two years after initially sustaining an injury to begin the civil litigation process. Notably, this filing period was reduced from four years to two years as of March 24, 2023. However, any accidents before that date may be subject to the previous filing deadline.
Consider Working with a Wesley Chapel Attorney on Teen Driving Accident Litigation
While not every teen driver acts in an unsafe way on the road, teenagers as a whole are more likely to act irresponsibly and cause traffic accidents. If this happened to you and caused you serious physical harm, you may need help from skilled legal counsel to make the most of a lawsuit or settlement demand seeking civil recovery.
Working with a well-practiced personal injury attorney like Scott Distasio could make a huge difference in your chances of achieving a successful case outcome following a teen driving accident in Wesley Chapel. Call Distasio Law Firm today to get started.