Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

Teen Drivers: How Parents Can Help Their Kids after an Auto Accident

Teenagers unfortunately lack the experience behind the wheel that many adult drivers have. Some teens may cause accidents because of their lack of driving skills or inexperience. Others may not drive defensively to avoid an accident caused by someone else. After you learn that your teen has been involved in an accident, you may immediately be concerned about his or her health. However, this is just one of several aspects of an accident that your teen may need help with.

Focus on Your Teen’s Health

If your teen was hospitalized or treated for injuries, you need to be aware of all follow-up visits and other instructions that the medical staff has given to you and your child. In some cases, people feel fine at the scene of an accident because of adrenaline or stress. However, over the course of the next day or two, they may become aware of symptoms that should be looked into by medical staff. For a few days following the incident, ask your child how he or she is feeling. You should also observe your teen for signs of disorientation and other issues. Take your child to the emergency room if you become aware of an urgent need for medical attention. Some teens may also need psychological therapy after a very traumatic or serious car accident.

File an Insurance Claim

As soon as possible after the accident, you should contact your insurance company to file a claim. You may also need to reach out to the insurance company for the other party if another driver caused the accident. To file a claim, you typically need a copy of the police report. Insurance companies often ask for your own photos of the accident scene if possible. You will need to pay a deductible when you file a claim. You may need to walk your teen through this process as a learning moment if your teen is feeling up to it. Otherwise, you may need to handle all aspects of dealing with the insurance company on your own.

Repair the Car

Your insurance company may suggest a reputable collision center to take your vehicle to. Some policies, however, allow you to choose your own repair center. You may need to be in touch with the insurance company and the repair center frequently until work on the car begins. If the repair process is lengthy, continue to follow up with the repair center every couple of days until the vehicle is back in your possession.

Seek Legal Guidance

Some car accidents turn into legal issues. For example, if your teenager caused the accident because of negligence or reckless driving, for example, the injured party could file a personal injury lawsuit against you. This is because you are the legal guardian of an underage teenager. On the other hand, if another person caused the accident and your child has been significantly affected, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other party. For example, if your teen has been disabled as a result of the accident, a personal injury lawsuit may be necessary to obtain compensation for therapy, medical treatments and more.

A car accident can be traumatic for an adult to endure, and it can be even more stressful for teens. Teens often do not know how to deal with this type of situation, and some may be recovering from injuries that could possibly be the worst that they have experienced so far in their lives. Parents can assist with all aspects of the claims process, the vehicle repair steps and the physical recovery process to help teens recover and possibly even learn from the experience.

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