Two Teenagers Dead in Single-Vehicle Accident
According to a Kens5 News report, two teenagers and one dog are dead following a single-vehicle accident last week on July 12, 2023, in Sugien.
Authorities identified one 19-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl at the scene of a single-vehicle accident that occurred at around 9:30 p.m. on a Wednesday night. Authorities believe the driver was headed southbound on South King Street when he attempted to pass another vehicle, losing control and striking a telephone pole, killing himself, his passenger, and a dog in the back seat of the vehicle. Authorities did not release the name of the minor but identified the driver as 19-year-old Jack Manger.
Did You Know?
Single-vehicle accidents accounted for 52% of nationwide auto accident deaths in 2021.
Teenage Drivers and Auto Accident Lawsuits
If you have ever been in an accident where the other driver was a minor, then you may be wondering, can you sue a minor for injuries in an auto accident that was their fault?
Texas consistently ranks number one for fatal auto accidents caused by teenagers. Nationwide, 2020 statistical data from the CDC revealed that 2,800 teenagers were killed, and more than 200,000 were injured in motor vehicle accidents. While driving is usually seen as a rite of passage for Texas teens, it comes with increased responsibility and should be taken seriously by both parents and teens.
Can You Sue the Parents for an Auto Accident Caused by Their Teen in Texas?
Every driver on Texas roads has a legal responsibility to drive in a manner that is safe by obeying all traffic laws and not recklessly putting anyone in danger, and this includes teenage drivers. Therefore, if a teen driver caused an accident by breaking traffic laws, they are legally negligent. Auto accident damages in these cases are covered by insurance, usually the insurance of the parents of the teen. But what happens if the coverage is not enough to compensate you for your injuries?
The Negligent Entrustment Doctrine
Parents may be held legally responsible for damages in Texas under the Negligent Entrustment Doctrine, which states that the owners of the vehicle may be held responsible for injuries caused by a teen driver if the following elements are proven:
- The owner allowed some other individual to use the vehicle – This must be direct permission, not “implied” permission, to qualify under this doctrine.
- The owner was aware (or should reasonably have been aware) that the entrusted individual was reckless, incompetent, or unlicensed – Prior accidents, general lack of skills, or tickets are good indicators that a teen driver needs more supervision and training to be safe.
- The entrusted driver negligently caused the accident – Speeding is the most common type of fatal accident involving teen drivers.
Texas law also holds that parents may not be sued under the family purpose doctrine, which would fall under “implied” permission or “general leisure access.”
To put it simply, a lawsuit against the parents of a Texas teen would have to prove that the parents (or vehicle owner) specifically gave permission for the teen to use the vehicle when something in the teen’s history indicated that giving such permission was reckless on the part of the parent.
Injured by a Teen Driver in San Antonio?
Our personal injury attorneys at the Carabin Shaw law firm have thirty years of experience representing auto accident victims in San Antonio and across Texas, and we put our clients first. Contact Carabin Shaw for a free case evaluation to get started at 800-862-1260. We look forward to working with you.