Teen Driver Accidents
Car Crash Lawyer Advocating for Little Rock Residents
Car accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers nationwide. This is in part because teen drivers are just learning to drive and more likely to be careless behind the wheel. When a reckless teen driver causes a crash and serious injuries, they should be held accountable for their actions. Little Rock car accident attorney Paul Pfeifer of the Pfeifer Law Firm is an experienced attorney who knows how to recover the monetary damages that you are entitled.
Driving Requirements for Teen Drivers in Arkansas
After leading the nation in teen traffic fatalities a decade ago, Arkansas implemented a Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program to regulate teen drivers in 2009. This incremental licensing program allows different levels of licenses, based on a driver’s age and experience level. To qualify for an Arkansas Learners License, an individual must be at least 14 years old and must pass both a written test and a road test. People with learner’s licenses must be accompanied by a licensed driver who is 21 or older while operating a vehicle. Drivers between the ages of 16 and 18, with no serious traffic convictions or accidents on their record within six months prior to applying, may be issued an intermediate license, which is accompanied by its own restrictions. No teen driver between the ages of 14 and 18 may use a cell phone at any time while behind the wheel. Regular licenses are issued to drivers who are 18 or older. Since the GDL’s implementation, reports have indicated that there have been fewer fatalities due to teen driver accidents, but dangers related to inexperienced drivers remain.
Holding Teen Drivers Responsible for Injuries
A negligent driver, regardless of their age, may be held accountable for an accident that they caused. In order to show negligence, a victim must establish that they were owed a duty of reasonable care. All drivers in Arkansas owe other road users a duty to act as a reasonable and prudent person would act in similar circumstances, and a teenager is no exception. A victim must also establish that the defendant’s actions breached this duty, causing injuries and damages.
For instance, a teen driver who was distracted by their cell phone would be negligent if they rear-ended another motorist. In this situation, negligence is usually presumed. Under this scenario, a victim need only show that the defendant violated a statute enacted to protect a specific group of people to which the victim belonged and that is evidence of negligence. Arkansas teen driving laws prohibiting cell phone use are in place to safeguard other motorists and pedestrians. As a result, a driver violating that statute probably would be found negligent. If liability is found, a plaintiff may be awarded damages for past and future medical expenses, lost income and loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering, among other types of damages.
When a victim loses their life, a wrongful death action may be pursued. In Arkansas, these claims are complex, and consulting an experienced wrongful death attorney who can guide you through the process is vital to ensuring that the proper steps are taken. Personal injury claims must be filed within three years of the date of the accident, and people considering wrongful death claims must take action within one year of a victim’s death.
Consult an Experienced Little Rock Attorney Following a Teen Driver Accident
Serious injuries often require a long-term recovery process and sometimes permanent adjustments to a victim’s day-to-day life. Making sure that you recover the financial assistance to handle those adjustments is Little Rock lawyer Paul Pfeifer’s priority. Mr. Pfeifer has over a decade of experience assisting accident victims throughout Saline, Pulaski, Miller, Crittenden, Craighead, Faulkner, Garland, Hot Spring, Independence, Jefferson, Sebastian, Washington, Ashley, and Baxter Counties, including in Jonesboro, West Memphis, Conway, Hot Springs, Malvern, Batesville, Pine Bluff, Texarkana, Benton, Bryant, Fort Smith, Forrest City, Fayetteville, and Hamburg. If you have been injured in a teen driver accident, contact us online or at 501-374-4440 for a free consultation with a motor vehicle collision lawyer at which we can discuss your legal options.