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Atlanta Teen Traffic Accidents: Can Parents Be Held Liable For Reckless Driving?

If you or your child was injured in an Atlanta car accident involving a teen driver, you may wonder, "Who is responsible?"    
 
In 2009, 3,932 teens between the ages of 16 and 20 died in U.S. motor vehicle accidents.  Teen drivers are statistically more likely to cause a fatal accident than an adult driver.  They have less experience, are more likely to engage in reckless behavior, and don't believe that bad things will happen to them.  Unfortunately, when teens cause accidents, they and any friends riding with them are often killed or seriously injured.
 
Talk to your teen about safe driving. Remind your child to always buckle up and discuss the role that alcohol and distractions have in causing teen accidents. Let your child know that if they need a safe ride home, you are available any time of day or night.
 
When a Georgia teen accident occurs, the parents of the at-fault driver often wonder if they are liable for the accident caused by their teen. Parents of victims wonder who is to blame.
 
In general parents cannot be held accountable for their child's accident.  However, they may be held liable if any of the following apply:
 
1. A parent allowed the child to drive even though they knew the child did not have the skills needed to safely operate the vehicle. 
 
2. A parent allowed the child to drive despite habitual reckless behavior when driving a car. 
 
3. The teen was driving for "family purposes".  "Family purposes" may be as simple as the teen driving a vehicle owned by his parents.

 
If your teen has been seriously injured in an Atlanta traffic accident while riding with a friend, it is important that you discuss your child's injuries with an Atlanta car crash attorney.  Insurance companies often try to shift the blame for teen accidents in order to avoid paying high settlements.  Your family deserves to be compensated for your medical bills and your child's pain and suffering. To learn more and schedule a free consultation with an Atlanta car crash attorney, contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith at 770-HURT-999.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia