David Tapalian
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Cranston Teen Driver Accidents

Car Crash Lawyers Helping Victims in Cranston and Beyond

Earning a driver’s license is a memorable rite of passage for many teenagers. Although some new motorists take the responsibility of operating a motor vehicle seriously, there are far too many others who fail to use the appropriate care and safe practices when venturing out on the road. With nearly 30 percent of its households including people 18 or under, Cranston is home to many teenagers who either recently received their license or will receive their license soon. Also, as a busy urban center, the roadways can often be congested, populated with pedestrians, or under construction. David Tapalian can assist victims and families who need a Cranston car accident lawyer to fight for their rights after they have been involved in a teen driver accident. The consequences of inattention or recklessness behind the wheel can be tragic. In 2014 alone, for example, nine victims lost their lives due to car accidents that occurred in Cranston.

Carelessness by Teen Drivers Causes Serious Injuries

Rhode Island has a number of driving laws that are applicable directly to teens. First, according to the state’s 2011 distracted driving law, teens under the age of 18 are prohibited from using a cell phone in any fashion when operating a motor vehicle. This includes talking on the phone, even if the driver has a hands-free device. Also, teens must comply with the state’s graduated licensing system, which is designed to provide new drivers with a chance to practice during low-risk situations under adult supervision. The process begins with a learner’s permit, after which a new driver can obtain a limited provisional license that includes time restrictions on when the permit holder can drive and requires constant supervision. Also, this permit holder can only have one passenger under the age of 21 in the vehicle unless the passengers are immediate members of their family. The permit expires when the driver turns 18.

Understanding these driving laws is critical in the context of a teen driver accident because Rhode Island recognizes the negligence per se doctrine. Under this theory, a plaintiff may assert a presumption of negligence against any defendant who violated a traffic law or another applicable statute at the time that the crash occurred. One useful way to determine if the teen driver who struck you violated a rule or regulation is to request a police report immediately following the accident to examine it for evidence of citations or violations.

If a teen driver causes a motor vehicle accident, and you suffer injuries as a result, you can bring a personal injury action against the teen to recover compensation. In general, this requires you to show that the teen driver failed to use the same reasonable care and skill that a prudent motorist would use if they were faced with a similar situation. As mentioned above, violating a statute or traffic law can serve as a basis for establishing negligence. After showing that the driver failed to use due care, you must prove that this failure was the cause of the teen driver accident in which you were hurt.

Rhode Island allows a defendant to provide evidence suggesting that the plaintiff acted negligently at the time of the crash and was a contributing factor to their own injuries. The jury can then assign a percentage of fault to the plaintiff, and any award of damages in their favor will be reduced by that percentage. However, the right to compensation will not be barred under the state’s comparative negligence rule.

Seek Guidance from a Skilled Cranston Attorney Following a Crash

At Tapalian Law, we pride ourselves on serving each client with the dedication, compassion, and personalized legal attention that they rightfully seek during this stressful time. When it comes to teen driver accidents, there can be a number of complicated issues, such as dealing with insurance companies, obtaining testimony from a minor, and determining whether additional parties such as parents may be liable. Attorney David Tapalian provides a free consultation to Cranston residents so that they can understand more about their rights and how he can help them. Call us now at 401-552-5000 or contact us online to schedule an appointment with a car accident lawyer.