At one point, every single driver that travels the road was a learning student. They learned the rules of the road and then began to put them into practice under the instruction and supervision of a driving instructor. While an instructor’s job is to make sure a student learns to drive safely, it is also part of their job to make sure they don’t get into any accidents. Unfortunately, the thing about accidents is that no matter how hard you try to prevent them, they still happen. However, an accident with a student driver is tricky business. As they are not yet fully-fledged drivers and don’t have insurance, does that automatically make you, the adult driver, responsible for covering the damage?
Negligence in Student Driver Accidents
If you, the adult driver, were the negligent party in an accident with the student driver, then it would work very much the same as a regular auto accident. Your insurance may be held on the hook for damages to both vehicles. However, if it can be proven that the student driver was the negligent one, then things will happen a little differently. Instead of the student being held responsible, since they have no insurance, instead the instructor will be held responsible.
If the instructor is part of a driving school, typically they have top-notch auto insurance and there is very little to worry about. However, quality of auto insurance can vary if the instructor comes as part a high school driver’s education program, yet that doesn’t change their liability. Similarly, if you got into an accident with a learning student while they were logging driving practice hours on their learner’s permit with a parent, it will be the parent’s auto insurance that will be used to cover your damages.
It is also important to remember that it is a driving instructor’s job to intervene in dangerous situations to prevent accidents. In these cases, you may be able to hold the instructor as well as the driving school responsible for any injuries you sustained if they did not take enough precaution to prevent the accident. If the student was speeding or conditions on the road were not safe for driving, it is the instructor’s duty to intervene in order to prevent accidents. If accidents happened as a result of that, then the instructor’s skills can be called into question and the driving school can be pursued for negligent hiring practices.
However, this route should only be pursued if you were grievously injured in an accident. Otherwise, it will not result in much other than just ruining someone’s life for a simple accident.
What to Do After an Accident with a Student Driver?
Actions taken after an auto accident with a student driver are actually very similar to any other auto accident. After the accident has occurred, you should:
- Gather Information – Get the name of the student, the driving instructor, and the driving school as well as any insurance information. You may also want to gather witness statements, if possible, to verify how the accident happened and who appeared to be at fault.
- Call the Police – It is crucial to call the police after an accident so they can create a police report. This is excellent evidence for your claim.
- Take Photos – Be sure to snap as many photos as need be to document the damage to both vehicles, the scene of the accident, and any injuries that were the result of the accident.
Have you been in an accident with a student driver in the Los Angeles area only to find that the instructor is pushing back against covering the damage? Contact us today so the Law Office of Freeman & Freeman can help you.