Under Massachusetts law, parents maintain the legal obligation to provide for their child’s safety and well being. In that same vein, parents and guardians may also be responsible for the negligent actions of their children. This issue often comes into play when a teenage driver causes a Massachusetts car accident.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately six teens die every day from motor vehicle accidents. These accidents frequently occur during Memorial Day and Labor Day. Compared to the rest of the year, research suggests that the rate of Massachusetts accidents involving teenagers increases over 25% during this time. In these cases, Massachusetts injury victims may hold the teenage driver’s parents liable for their injuries and damages.
Massachusetts car accidents involving teenage drivers are more likely to lead to serious and fatal accidents because the drivers tend to be inexperienced, distracted, negligent, and reckless. Younger drivers are more likely to make unsafe and dangerous choices because they have less experience than older drivers. This inexperience can lead to speeding, not wearing a seat belt, and generally unsafe driving habits. Additionally, according to a safety advocacy group, the majority of car accidents involving teenage drivers were the result of distracted driving. Using cellphones, eating, drinking, and talking to passengers all contribute to distracted driving accidents. Finally, teenagers who operate their vehicles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol are more likely to cause a fatal accident.
In some cases, Massachusetts’ parents and guardians may be held liable under the theories of negligent entrustment or presumption of control. A parent may be held responsible under negligent entrustment when they knew or should have known that their underage child was acting recklessly or negligently. Moreover, the legal presumption theory applies in instances where the parent is a vehicle owner, and they control the where, when, and how of their child’s use of their car.
These cases often have deadly outcomes, and parents and teen drivers must take steps to mitigate the chances of a serious accident. For example, recently, a Massachusetts news report described a single-vehicle crash involving three teenagers. The 17-year-old driver veered off the road and slammed into a stone wall. The front seat passenger was thrown from the pick-up truck and died at the scene of the accident. The fire crew had to pull the driver and another passenger from the vehicle and transport them to the hospital. The driver died from his injuries shortly after the accident. Police officials are still investigating the accident, but evidence suggests that speeding was a factor in the fatal accident.
Have You Been Involved in a Massachusetts Car Accident?
If you or someone you know has suffered injuries in a Massachusetts car accident, contact the Law Offices of Barry Feinstein and Affiliates P.C. The attorneys at our law firm have extensive experience handling these and other types of Massachusetts personal injury cases. Lawsuits involving teenage drivers encompass many complicated legal issues concerning liability and our lawyers have the knowledge and skills to overcome these challenging cases. We have been fighting the big insurance companies for over 25 years, handling various personal injury lawsuits, including Massachusetts car accidents, medical malpractice, and wrongful death claims. We continue to provide free consultations during the COVID-19 pandemic. To find out more, contact us at 800-262-9200 or fill out our online form now.