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Chicago Teen Driver Accident Attorney

Chicago Teen Driver Accident Lawyer

Navigating the streets of Chicago can be daunting for any driver, but for teen drivers, it can be particularly intimidating.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, with 227,000 teens injured and 2,800 killed in car crashes in 2020. With their limited experience behind the wheel, teens are more susceptible to having accidents, not only resulting in serious injuries and legal complications, as the statistic above suggests, but they also run the risk of seriously hurting others or causing the fatalities of those they hit.

If you’re suffering from debilitating injuries or the sudden loss of a loved one because of an interaction with a young driver, Thomas Law Offices wants to help you. A skilled Chicago teen driver accident lawyer at our firm can help you navigate the legal system, including aiding you in recovering compensation for your crash-related losses if you’re eligible. So, if you’re hurt or grieving the loss of a close relative, contact us by phone or email for a free, no-risk, no-obligation consultation.

Common Causes of Teen-Involved Crashes in Illinois

The same CDC resource cited above outlines how adolescent motorists aged 16–19 are almost three times as likely to be involved in a fatal crash than drivers 20 or older. Leading causes of teen car accidents include:

  • Distracted Driving: Distractions, such as texting, talking on the phone, using navigation systems, eating, or interacting with passengers, significantly impair a teen driver’s ability to focus on the road, leading to accidents. As far as this one factor is concerned, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) contends that it led to 7% of all teen car crash fatalities in 2022. It undoubtedly led to countless other motorists suffering varying degrees of injuries or dying from outside that age range as well.
  • Inexperience: Lack of experience behind the wheel makes teen drivers more prone to errors in judgment, including improperly handling challenging driving situations, such as adverse weather conditions, heavy traffic, or unexpected road hazards.
  • Speeding: Teens may be more inclined to speed, either due to a desire for thrill-seeking behavior or underestimation of the risks involved. Speeding reduces a driver’s reaction time and increases the severity of accidents.
  • Impaired Driving: Despite legal restrictions, some teens may engage in impaired driving by consuming alcohol or drugs, impairing their cognitive and motor skills and increasing the likelihood of accidents. It’s also important to note that the recently passed Illinois House Bill 1155 (the Parental Responsibility Law) can hold parents and guardians accountable for underage drinking and driving.

Efforts Aimed at Minimizing the Incidence Rate of Collisions Caused by Adolescents

Addressing the above-referenced leading causes of teen-involved accidents in Chicago requires comprehensive education, enforcement of traffic laws, parental involvement, and community engagement to promote safe driving behaviors.

Addressing the issue of catastrophic and fatal caused by teens requires education, enforcement, and community engagement, such as the following:

  • Comprehensive Driver Education: Providing thorough driver education programs that emphasize safe driving practices, hazard awareness, and responsible decision-making can help equip teen drivers with the skills they need to navigate the road safely.
  • Parental Involvement: Parents play a crucial role in shaping their teen’s driving behavior by setting a positive example, enforcing rules and restrictions, and monitoring their teen’s driving activities.
  • Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Programs: The Illinois graduated driver licensing system, which gradually introduces driving privileges and restrictions for teen drivers, has been shown to reduce the risk of crashes causing injuries and deaths among young drivers by imposing limitations on nighttime driving, passenger restrictions, and their participation in other high-risk activities. Since the implementation of GDL provisions in 2008, state-wide teen driving deaths here in our state as a whole have fallen by nearly 51%, according to the Illinois Secretary of State. It’s likely that this program has had a significant impact on injury and fatality rates among other aged populations as well.
  • Public Awareness Campaigns: Initiatives aimed at highlighting the dangers of distracted driving, impaired driving, and other risky behaviors can help raise awareness among teens and their parents and promote safer vehicle operation habits.
  • Law Enforcement Efforts: Strict enforcement of traffic laws, including laws prohibiting texting while driving, speeding, and driving under the influence, can serve as a deterrent and help prevent fatal teen driver car accidents.

If the efforts above didn’t reach a teen you were sharing the road with in time or didn’t resonate with them and led to you suffering injuries or a family member prematurely losing their life, consider contacting us at Thomas Law Offices for a complimentary consultation with one of our attorneys.

During that meeting with a Chicago teen driver accident lawyer, they’ll want to know more about the moments leading to and following your crash, specifically as it relates to reckless driving, you might have seen the young driver engaging in. This will help the lawyer you speak with better understand if you may meet the necessary grounds for filing an insurance claim or civil lawsuit to recover crash-related damages.

Speak With a Chicago Car Accident Lawyer

Rights and Responsibilities of Teen Motorists in IL

Illinois law does not have specific exceptions for minors driving automobiles, so they are typically held to the same standard of care as adult drivers. This means that teen drivers can be held liable for negligence and sued by injured parties. In some cases, a teen driver’s parents may also be responsible for damages caused by their child’s accident.

Navigating the Legal Process

In the aftermath of an accident, it’s crucial to take prompt action to protect your legal rights. Some of the steps you’ll want to take to do that include:

  • Seeking medical attention: Do this no matter how minor any potential injuries may initially seem.
  • Gather evidence: It’s essential to gather evidence that demonstrates the other party’s liability and the extent of your injuries and damages to build a strong case for compensation after a teen driver accident. This may include photographs and videos, medical records, accident reports, witness contact information and statements, and expert testimony from accident reconstruction specialists.

In terms of the latter, a skilled lawyer will know how to effectively present this evidence to support your claim and maximize your chances of receiving fair compensation. You can also expect an attorney to be skilled at:

Negotiating with Insurance Companies

Dealing with insurance companies can be intimidating, especially if you’ve never had a crash or you’ve filed a case that didn’t get resolved in your favor before. Insurance adjusters may try to minimize your claim or deny it altogether, leaving you with mounting medical bills and other expenses that you’re on the hook for paying.

Fortunately, a lawyer experienced in handling crash cases caused by teen drivers can handle negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf, advocating for a fair settlement that reflects the true value of your injuries and losses.

Litigation as a Last Resort

While many teen driver accident cases are resolved through settlement negotiations, if a fair settlement cannot be reached, your lawyer may recommend taking your case to court to pursue compensation through a jury trial. While litigation can be time-consuming and stressful, it may be necessary to ensure that you receive the full compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages.

With the right car accident lawyer in Chicago on your side, you can navigate the legal process with confidence. When working with Thomas Law Offices, you can rest assured knowing that we’ll do everything we can to protect your rights and help you pursue fair compensation so that you can focus on your recovery.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to a Chicago teen driver accident lawyer for help if you’ve been injured or a loved one has lost their life because a young, inexperienced motorist was at the wheel of a car. We’re here to help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve.

Free Case Evaluation

At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out of pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Meet Our Founder

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

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