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What happens when a drunk teenager causes a car crash?

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2022 | Car Accidents |

Alcohol can make even experienced drivers a threat on the road, but when you combine chemical intoxication with inexperience, you have a recipe for a potentially horrific collision. Adults develop both a tolerance to the effects of alcohol and more skill in managing a vehicle as they spend countless hours at the wheel.

Unfortunately, teenagers behind the wheel after drinking will have neither the tolerance for drink nor the driving skill to reach their destinations safely. The inability of teenagers to understand the consequences of their actions can lead them to make some very bad choices.

They could get behind the wheel after going to a party because they don’t want to break curfew. Then, as they speed home, they could cause a crash. What rights do you have when a teenager causes a drunk driving wreck in California?

You can file an insurance claim

Typically, you can count on motor vehicle insurance to compensate you for injuries and property damage caused in a crash. However, parents paying to insure a teenager may have very low insurance coverage because of the costs, meaning you still have bills.

You may need to go to civil court

A drunk driving crash often results in civil liability for the impaired driver. Unfortunately, teenagers won’t have much property or income to use to compensate the victims of a crash. Thankfully, the law in California allows you to hold someone else accountable. You can take action against whoever served the alcohol, including a business that knowingly served a minor or someone who hosted a party and served alcohol to underage attendees.

The social host and dram shop laws in California provide an alternate option for compensation if insurance and the assets of a teen driver aren’t enough to cover your losses after a car crash.

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