For families with new teen drivers getting behind the wheel for the first time, the experience can be as nerve-wracking as it is exhilarating. Many first-time parents may not know where to begin with their child, who will be understandably eager to hit the road and be well on their way to earning their intermediate license.
Although no one likes to think about the negative side of things, what happens if your teen gets into a car accident while holding an Arkansas learner’s permit? Providing a child with adequate insurance coverage—and a knowledge of what to do following an accident—can help a child learn valuable real-life skills useful once they are driving on their own, and can bring peace of mind to parents who are preparing to add a new driver to their pre-existing plan.
When to Add Your Teen Driver To Your Plan
Arkansas law requires that all drivers (including teen drivers with a learner’s permit) have adequate auto insurance at any point they are operating a vehicle. Parents can often add their teen driver to an existing car insurance plan by calling their insurer and providing them with information about their child and their status as a permit driver.
Because of the ease of adding a teen driver to your plan, as well as the legal requirement for insurance coverage, we recommend getting your teen driver registered as soon as they are able to begin driving. Knowing that they are covered in the event of an accident, and helping your child learn the importance of having auto insurance while driving, is a lesson that will prove invaluable for their future as a licensed driver.
Who is Responsible for an Accident with a Driver Holding a Learner’s Permit?
Any teen driver holding an Arkansas learner’s permit may only drive with a licensed adult over the age of 21 in the passenger seat. Because of this, confusion can arise when it comes to liability in a car accident. Is a parent responsible for an accident their teen driver caused while the parent is in the vehicle?
In general, a car accident with a driver holding a learner’s permit is handled the same way as any other accident in the eyes of an insurance provider. Once an accident is reported and documented, the insurance agent will verify your policy and the other driver’s coverage and determine the proper steps for covering the claim.
While the process for documenting and reporting a car accident is the same as if your teen was a licensed driver, they can be held solely responsible if they are found to have taken a parent’s vehicle without their knowledge, or if they caused a severe amount of damage behind the wheel of a car. It is important to educate your teen on safe driving practices, and to inform them that driving is a privilege (not a right) to be earned.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
A car accident with a teen driver holding a learner’s permit may seem like a headache to navigate. Because the teen driver is young and inexperienced, they may lack a critical understanding of what to do after an accident and how to file a claim against another driver if they have been involved in a collision. Even in instances with no severe injury or property damage, chances are that your child will be shaken up after an accident, which makes it a valuable teaching opportunity to show them how to handle an accident after it has occurred.
If you or your teen driver must file a claim against another driver, it may be in your best interest to retain an experienced car accident attorney to handle your case. This ensures that you have the best possible chance at a favorable settlement, and helps to show young drivers how best to handle car accidents with as little trouble as possible.
For more information about car accident claims or to discuss your case with an experienced attorney, contact The Law Offices of Alan LeVar today to schedule a free consultation.