As a parent, one of the scariest phone calls you can receive is one from your child telling you that he or she has just been in a car accident. What can make this already bad situation worse is if your teen was the driver. Whether the accident was that fault of your teen or not, damage can be done, both physically and emotionally. In order for you to help minimize this damage, it’s important for you to know what you should do immediately following the car accident. To help you with this, here are three things to do when your teen drivers get in a car accident.
Reassure Your Teen That You’re Glad He Or She Is Safe
The very first thing you should do once you find out that your teen has been in a car accident, whether you were in the car or if you’re just getting a phone call, is to reassure him or her that you’re just glad that they are safe. According to Melissa Fenton, a contributor to Progressive.com, any talks about whose fault the accident was or where blame should be placed can and should wait until you’ve adequately reassured your teen that the only thing you’re presently concerned with is their safety. Your teen is likely to feel a lot of guilt associated with this event, so it’s going to be so helpful for your teen and your relationship if you start out this conversation on the right foot.
Understand Your Own Liability
Having your teen get in a car accident can be a complicated process, especially if they won’t own their own car and are on your car insurance. If this is the case, Angel Smith, a contributor to Today.com, shares that you likely have vicarious liability for the event, even if you weren’t there at all. What happens with your teen when they’re in your custody is your responsibility. Because of this, many of the repercussions of the car accident will be shared with you, especially on the administrative and financial side. For example, the other party may use a motor vehicle collision attorney against your teen, and you may have to be the one who pays the compensation. To be certain, check the laws of your state to see what they say about parent or guardian liability in the event of a teenage car accident.
Prepare Yourself For The Repercussions
As was mentioned above, there are likely going to be some repercussions from this car accident that you and your teen will have to deal with. According to David Berg, a contributor to All-About-Car-Accidents.com, insurance premiums could be severely increased or completely cancelled, depending on how bad the accident was and who caused it. Additionally, your teen might have PTSD from their accident. You could also have to get work done on your car or total your car, depending on damage.
To prepare yourself for this tough situation, consider using the tips mentioned above to know what you should do in the event that you teen driver gets in a car accident.