- January 20, 2020
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Despite being relatively rare, car accidents involving student drivers do happen, and you may have liability issues that are difficult to navigate. Whether you were in another vehicle or a passenger of the student, one has to figure out if the student driver, parents, driving instructor, or even the driving company hold responsibility for covering your medical costs, lost wages, damaged vehicle, and pain.
It’s critical that you work with an experienced car accident attorney in San Jose to choose the right party for responsibility when trying to navigate California’s complicated liability laws.
Student Driver Accidents
The most important detail to establish involves determining the type of accident that occurred. The circumstances often dictate the party liable for causing you trauma in an auto collision, so consider some of the following typical wreck situations involving student drivers:
- Accidents injuring other passengers in the student’s vehicle
- Cyclists, joggers, and other pedestrian-involved accidents
- Collisions with other vehicles that cause damages and injuries
While most drivers use caution when driving around marked student driver vehicles, sometimes giving a wide berth isn’t enough. Young learners may suddenly stop, fail to brake in time, and even miss a stop sign or two because it’s hard for them to focus on multiple things at once when they’re behind the wheel. These common mistakes that new drivers make can cause accidents which can lead to devastating injuries, total vehicle loss, and other negative impacts.
Student Driver Liability
Students are inexperienced on the road and may only have a basic understanding of the laws and rules that ensure driver safety. Everyday situations that may lead to an accident they may have liability for include:
- Illegal maneuvers
- Failing to yield
- Running traffic lights
- Missing stop signs
- Not braking appropriately
- Distracted while driving
As the injured party, you must provide evidence of liability to recover any lost wages, medical costs, property damage, and other associated costs. The best car accident lawyers in San Jose will be able to assist you in gathering relevant documentation, witness testimony, police reports, and even on-scene photos to help prove your case.
Driving Instructor Liability
A driving instructor is there to teach a student not only how to drive, but what the laws are and to offer first-hand advice during driving practice. Instructors should also intervene if a student makes a driving mistake so they can prevent future incidents that could cause an accident. In some situations, a driving instructor may not have shown enough care to avoid mistakes from occurring while riding with the student, and an accident happens. Circumstances where liability might lay with an instructor are:
- Texting while driving
- Not paying attention to the road
- The instructor is not paying attention to the student’s driving
- The student is not corrected by the instructor after making mistakes
If you believe that an accident occurred because a driving instructor didn’t give proper instruction or reasonable care to the student driver, getting evidence is critical to your claim.
Finding Liability with the Driving School
In some instances, liability can also fall on the driving school for a student driver accident. This happens if a school hires an unqualified instructor or continues employing a teacher responsible for frequent incidents from poor instruction and oversight of student drivers. Other situations where a school may have contributed to a student causing a crash may involve vehicles provided by the institution. If school-provided vehicles are in poor condition or not maintained properly by the driving school, they might also have responsibility for the student’s accident.
The owner of a vehicle involved in an accident may also face liability, whether for driving the vehicle themselves or allowing someone else to do so. This applies to parents of teens who allow their children to use their vehicle. If an accident or injury happens while said child was behind the wheel, parents may be liable since they own the car. The lesson is that any time you loan your vehicle to someone else, you’re potentially liable for any resulting harm or loss that may happen.
Your Personal Liability
A car accident lawyer in San Jose says it’s crucial to evaluate what, if any, contributions you may have made to cause the collision. As an already licensed driver, there’s an expectation that you’ll be extra vigilant on the road when seeing a clearly marked driver’s education vehicle.
If you performed risky driving maneuvers around an inexperienced driver, a judge might assign some fault to your actions. Driving actions that a court might view as endangering to yourself and others may include:
- Sudden stopping
- Cutting off or in front of the student driver without signaling
- Aggressive driving such as tailgating
- Brake checking
- Road rage
If a judge determines that you’re responsible for 25 percent of your loss, then the compensation you’re owed may receive a 25 percent reduction. To avoid the risk of having your damages reduced, you need to have a top car accident lawyer in the Bay Area on your side. The best attorneys in San Jose will offer aggressive representation and fight contributory liability assignment by the court.
California Student Driver Accident Attorneys
If you’re the victim of a student driver-related auto collision, choosing a dedicated law firm to support you through this challenging time is crucial to winning your lawsuit. The negative impact of an accident can follow you for years to come, so it’s imperative that all aspects of your loss get accounted for correctly.
With decades of combined experience, the car accident attorneys at The Barnes Firm work tirelessly to ensure your recovery and future, and that you receive the care needed to move past this traumatizing time in your life. Their legal team doesn’t take any fees unless they win your case, and their membership with the Million Dollar Advocates Forum establishes their ability to successfully settle claims for the maximum value. Learn more about how their seasoned car accident legal team can help you by contacting them today.
The Barnes Firm (800) 800-0000