Teen Driver Accidents
Teenagers are three times more likely to be involved in a car crash than all drivers over 20. Every day, seven teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 die in motor vehicle crashes, and about 100 times that number end up in emergency rooms. Although many states, including New York, have instituted graduated licensing systems to decrease the risks posed to and by teen drivers, the fact remains that young, inexperienced drivers present a very real risk to themselves and others. All too often, those risks are realized in an accident. If you have been injured, or if someone you love has been killed, in a crash caused by a teen driver in or around Queens, contact the car accident attorneys at The Cassisi Law Firm. We have extensive experience assisting accident victims to recover damages for injuries caused by negligent drivers. We proudly represent clients throughout local communities including the Bronx and Brooklyn, as well as in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.Carelessness and Inexperience Contribute to Teen Driver Accidents
Teen drivers make up a disproportionate number of motorists involved in vehicle accidents. For example, of the 1332 traffic accident fatalities suffered by New York Drivers in 2008, 181 of them—over 13% — involved teen drivers: 61 teen drivers were killed, 47 of their passengers were killed, 46 people in other vehicles were killed, and 27 others—such as pedestrians or bicyclists—were killed. Sadly, many teen driver accidents are preventable, because teen drivers frequently cause crashes through negligence.
In law, negligence creates legal liability. Negligence is established by showing the existence of four elements:
- First, the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff;
- Second, the defendant breached that duty;
- Third, the breach brought about an injury to the plaintiff; and
- Fourth, the plaintiff suffered damages.
When the driver of a vehicle violates a traffic law or rule of the road, that driver is breaching his or her duty to all other users of the road, because those laws and rules are in place to make driver behavior predictable and safe. Many teen driver accidents come about because teen drivers violate these rules—by speeding, driving under the influence, or ignoring traffic rules. In addition, because teen drivers lack experience, they often make poor decisions in hazardous driving situations that put other drivers at serious risk.Damages Available After Your Accident
When you suffer a personal injury caused by another’s negligence, you are entitled to all the damages caused by the negligent party. These are called compensatory damages because they are intended to compensate you for the injuries you have suffered, even if you may not fully recover (for example, if the accident causes permanent injury or permanent disfigurement). Monetary damages are intended to make up for the losses you would not have sustained but for the other party’s negligence. Damages can include:
- Pain and suffering, whether physical, emotional, or psychological, not only at the time of the accident but in the future;
- Medical costs, including consultations, surgery, prescriptions, physical therapy, and so on;
- Disfigurement: when an injury causes permanent disfigurement, the plaintiff may recover for the anguish caused by the disfigurement;
- Lost income from lost time at work and for any future impairment to income or income potential caused by the injury;
- Loss of consortium, when the injury deprives a plaintiff of emotional or sexual relations with a spouse, or results in loss of affection or companionship;
- Property loss: any personal property loss, such as a vehicle or personal effects; and
- Other damages.
In some cases, punitive damages may also be available. Punitive damages in negligence cases are not intended to compensate the victim, but to punish the negligent party for extremely careless behavior.Car Accident Lawyers Helping Motorists Seek Compensation in Queens
If you have been injured or someone you love has been killed in a car accident caused by the negligence of a teen driver, contact one of the experienced motor vehicle collision lawyers at The Cassisi Law Firm. We can evaluate your case and give you an idea of what kind of damages to which you may be legally entitled. To set up an appointment for your free consultation, contact us at (718) 441-5050, or use our online form today.