The statistics are harrowing for parents. One-fifth of all first-year teenage drivers will be in an accident. How you react as a parent immediately after the car accident, and in the days and weeks to come can drastically affect how your teenager handles their car accident and ultimately regains their confidence.
Go To The Scene of the Accident
Resist any urge to yell, cry, or have any emotional outbursts. Calmly let your teenager know you will be right there, and drive to the scene of the accident. This will not only help reassure your teenager but also allow you to assess the actual situation. Teenagers have typically never been in a car accident and are unaware of the fact that they should not take responsibility, tell the other driver they “feel fine” or tell the police officer that it “might have been my fault.” Try to take pictures if possible, and help your teenager get the contact information of all appropriate parties. Try to take photos if possible. Always have your teenagers seek immediate medical attention to ensure their safety.
Involve Your Teenager
After the accident, phone calls will need to be made to doctors, insurance companies, employers, and many other companies and people. If your teenager is able to do, have them call their work and let them know that they will not be able to come back for a while due to a medical order. Help them with the paperwork, but give them space to be independent. Allow your teenager to be involved in the insurance process, and help them understand that insurance companies do not have their best interest in mind when asking questions, attempting to record them, attempting to find out if they will slip and say something wrong, request full medical records, or throw out low settlement offers.
Back in the Saddle
Eventually, you will want to have your teenager get back in the proverbial saddle and start driving again. Perhaps you want to enroll them in some additional driver’s education classes or spend time with them in the car while they drive to give them a sense of encouragement and support. After they regain their confidence, they will have many life skills to deal with a car accident if it ever happens to them in the future.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
One of the most important things you can teach your teenager is to contact an experienced car accident attorney following a car accident. You can explain how an attorney can help negotiate with insurance companies on their behalf and build a strong personal injury case to help them get the compensation they deserve. Contact Michael J. Redenburg Esq., P.C. at (212) 240-9465 or online today if your teenager was involved in a car accident.