Chicago, Illinois, accident lawyer Joseph Klest has over twenty-four years of experience representing clients in a variety of personal injury claims, including motor vehicle accidents, dangerous products, medical malpractice, workplace accidents, sexual abuse, and other accidents.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 350,000 U.S. teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 were treated in emergency departments for injuries resulting from automobile accidents in 2008. While young people aged 15-24 make up only 14% of the U.S. population, they account for 30% of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries among males and 28% among females.

Parties to an accident may try to hold parents responsible for damage caused by their teenage driver. Some parents may be held accountable for their child's actions while driving or may risk loss of insurance coverage, depending on the situation.

Graduated Driver Licensing

In Illinois, teen drivers must pass through phases before they can obtain an unrestricted driver's license. The stages include:

* Permit phase: Teens are eligible to obtain an instruction permit beginning at age 15 and must have a written consent from their parent or legal guardian

* Initial licensing phase: Drivers aged 16 and 17 may obtain an initial license provided that they have complied with all the terms required as a permitted driver

* Full licensing phase: Drivers who have completed the permit and initial license requirements may apply for a full license between the ages of 18 and 20

Additional conditions apply to drivers with an instruction permit or initial license, which include nighttime curfews, education and training requirements. Teenage drivers are prohibited from cell phone use while driving, except in the case of emergency calls.

Insurance Requirements

Illinois drivers are required to have liability coverage, which is divided as follows:

  • Bodily injury: Illinois law requires drivers to have bodily injury coverage of at least $20,000 per person per accident and $40,000 total per accident.
  • Property damage: Illinois drivers must have property damage coverage of at least $15,000 per accident.
Teenagers must have the same minimum coverage as adult drivers but parents may consider purchasing additional coverage given the high incidence of accidents for new drivers. Drivers in Illinois can purchase uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to cover their injuries and damages if the person who causes the accident does not have sufficient insurance. Uninsured and underinsured coverage is extremely inexpensive. As low as $20 per year for $300,000 in coverage. Parents of teens are urged to purchase the highest limits allowed by their insurance company.

Parental Liability

Under Illinois law, parents may be held liable under an agency theory for their child's negligent driving if the child was engaged in doing the parents' business at the time of the accident. That is, parents are not responsible if they merely allow the child to use the car for his or her own purposes but will be held accountable if the child is on a family errand.

What constitutes the parents' business is determined on a case-by-case basis, based on the facts of any particular situation. Examples of errands the court has deemed to be family business include when the child was going to the store for groceries or picking up her shoes from the shoe repair shop. Because parents have an obligation to feed and clothe their children, when a child drives a family vehicle with permission and for the purpose of assisting with these obligations, the court finds that the child is on a family errand.

When the teen uses the car purely for his or her own purposes and pleasure, the parents will not be held liable.

In addition, parents should consider their insurance policy provisions. Insurers may exclude certain acts from coverage. For example, an insurance company may refuse to provide coverage for illegal activities, such as if a parent were to supply their child with alcohol and then allow the child to drive. Expenses incurred in any resulting accident would need to be paid out of pocket by the parent and child.

Parents of teenage drivers may have questions about their obligations and liabilities. An attorney can offer guidance to parents who may be wondering what they need to do if their teenage driver was in an accident. A lawyer can assess the situation and advise whether the other party may try to sue the teen, the parent or both.

Dll,How to Resolve CFGMGR32.DLL Issues?,How to Fix KERNEL32.DLL is Missing Error,

What is CloudFileProto.dll and How to Fix CloudFileProto.dll Error

,Simple Way to Fix DIAGTRACK.dll Error,Remove Winsta.dll Error in an Easy Way
Read More: