How to Help Your Teenager After Their Car Accident
Statistics show that one-fifth of all first-year teenage drivers will be in a car accident. If you are a parent, these statistics are harrowing and terrifying. However, if your teenager suffered an injury in a car accident, make sure to follow these steps to ensure that their health, safety, and legal rights are protected.
Hurry to the Scene of the Accident
If you receive the phone call that your child has been involved in an accident, do not waste time yelling or asking a lot of questions. If you know that they are not being taken immediately to the hospital, get to the scene of the accident as soon as possible. With your presence there, your teenager will likely feel much more comfortable. Also, you will be able to help your teenager understand that they need to cooperate with the police, obtain the contact information of the other driver and witnesses, and seek medical attention immediately if necessary. Additionally, if you are at the scene of the accident you can assess the situation and damage directly for yourself. Take pictures of the accident scene and of the damage. Take your child to a physician or the emergency room if they have any kind of injury at all. Your presence will insure that their health and legal rights will be protected in case you decide to pursue a claim in the future.
After the Accident
Following the accident, there will be phone calls to insurance companies, and discussions with auto repair shops. Having your teenager participate in these phone calls and help with documentation and paperwork will help them understand how challenging and complex difficult situations should be addressed in real life. Have your teenager by your side as you negotiate with insurance companies, and explain to them that they should never tell an insurance company that they “feel much better” or allow them to access all of their medical history. Explain to them that insurance companies will oftentimes use devious tactics to attempt to offer only low settlements that do not fully compensate a victim for their property damage or injuries. Your teenager will learn valuable lessons throughout this process.
You are required to report the accident to your own insurance company. However, if the insurance company wants to take your child’s recorded statement, it is advisable to tell the insurance company that you want your attorney present for a face to face meeting or in a 3way conference call.
Additionally, after the accident, you should consider your teenager’s emotions. If you feel your teenager still exhibits fear or anxiety as a result of their accident, you should have them visit with a professional therapist to help them through this difficult time. Finally, and most importantly, you should slowly have your teenager regain confidence by allowing them back in the driver’s seat in order to build their confidence moving forward. In some cases, having your teenager take another driver’s education course can help them also build confidence without having the pressure of driving independently immediately after an accident.
Let Us Help You Today
If your teenager was involved in an accident and suffered injuries, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Roman & Roman today at 877-767-1032 or contact us online for a free consultation regarding your teenager’s car accident case, and to help you get the compensation you deserve. We serve clients in Hudson, Clearwater, and Tampa.