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Liability in Accidents Involving Student Drivers

Posted on in BGL Law
Liability in Car Accidents Involving Student DriversWhen you see a “student driver” sign on a car, you understand that you need to take extra precautions around that car. Student drivers are still learning basic driving skills, such as:

  • The appropriate speed to drive in different conditions;
  • The amount of space to allow between themselves and the drivers in front of them;
  • Checking for other vehicles when changing lanes; and
  • Taking decisive action.

Mistakes are expected from student drivers, but some of those mistakes can result in car accidents. Student drivers are required to have liability insurance to cover the cost of damages to yourself and your vehicle. If you believe negligence was involved the accident, you may need to go to court to receive the proper personal injury compensation. The student driver may have caused the accident, but other parties may be liable for the negligence.


Parents are the most likely people to be in the car with a student driver during an accident. In order to receive a driver's license, a student must log at least 50 hours of behind-the-wheel practice with an adult. Unlike driving instructors, most parents are not trained to:

  • Assess the various mistakes that learning drivers make; and
  • Calmly instruct the drivers on how to correct a mistake.

If the student driver is a minor, the parents can be held responsible for their child's negligence, even if one of them was not in the car at the time of the accident.

Driving Instructors

A driving instructor can also be held liable if his or her negligence contributed to the student driver's accident. The instructor is responsible for intervening when the student's actions may cause an accident. Some driver's education cars are equipped with brake and accelerator pedals on the passenger side for the instructor to use in case of an emergency. An instructor who was not paying attention or failed to take reasonable action to avoid the accident may be responsible for part of the personal injury compensation.

Driving School

The driving school can be liable for the driving instructor it employs and the vehicle the student driver is using. An injured party can seek damages directly from the school if:

  • The driving instructor was negligent in his or her responsibilities;
  • The school was negligent in hiring a qualified instructor; or
  • Vehicle failure due to a lack of maintenance caused the accident.

Personal Injury Case

While you may feel some sympathy for a student driver who caused your accident, you are still entitled to seek personal injury damages. A McHenry County personal injury attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC can identify the correct parties to be held liable for your injuries. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.



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