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Who Do You Sue If You’re Hit By a Student Driver?

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If you were hit by a student driver, things might become complicated.

The student driver has an instructor, so the big question pops up – whose fault is it?

You have several options that can help you get an insurance claim if you were hit by a student driver car accident.

You can file a lawsuit against the student driver, for their careless driving. Another option is to file a lawsuit against the instructor because the accident occurred under his or her supervision. Or, you can file the lawsuit against the driving school for hiring negligent instructors who failed to maintain the vehicle properly. A Sprindale automobile accident lawyer can help you figure out the best parties to pursue for damages.

Lawsuit or Claim Against the Student Driver

There is a possibility to file a lawsuit and claim compensation from the student’s driver insurer. Your lawsuit will follow a liability theory called negligence.

This means the student was not driving responsibly and caused a traffic accident. So, they can be responsible for the injuries and damages they caused. No matter the fact that the driver was learning how to drive, the fact they were on the road and took part in the traffic means that they carry a legal duty to drive responsibly.

The fact that this is a student driver does not mean that there are exceptions for them when it comes to respecting the traffic signs and lights, yielding correctly and adjusting their speed limit.

In most cases, the student driver won’t have their own insurance policy (especially if he or she is a teen), but their parents or guardians will most likely have it.

Lawsuit or Claim Against the Instructor

Another option is if you file a lawsuit or claim against the instructor. Teaching a student driver means taking the whole responsibility for their mistakes. The student relies on the instructor’s experience and guidelines.

The instructor must intervene if an emergency occurred; if they fail to do that, then they take responsibility for the accident.

This means you can legally file the lawsuit against the instructor. They will most definitely have insurance.

Your claim can follow the negligence theory; the instructor failed to act properly in the situation and did not take measures to stop potential accidents.

There are cases where the instructor, instead of paying attention to the road while his student was driving, he or she was texting. The instructor failed to notice that their student did not stop for a stop sign or failed to change the lanes properly.

In such a case, you can file your claim against the instructor, but also against the student driver. Both were careless in their actions.

Lawsuit or Claim Against the Driving School

You have a third option where you can file the claim against the driving school. This option is a bit more complicated.

The school can carry responsibility for the careless work of their employees. Also, the school might carry responsibility for not hiring a dedicated and professional instructor; had they made the right choice, the accident would not have occurred. And, finally, the driving school offers vehicles. Improperly maintained vehicles can be a reason for the accident.

Here are the three options:

  • Negligent hiring is the case where driving schools made a poor choice when hiring the instructor. This reason is good enough for you to file a lawsuit against them. If the driving school knew that the instructor was not good, they exposed their student drivers and other traffic participants to danger. People who already had convictions for bad driving (DUI, for example) are not suitable to work as instructors.
  • Vicarious liability means the driving school takes responsibility for choosing, training, and managing their instructors. The driving school is vicariously liable even for accidents that did not cause any injuries or damage; it is the school’s responsibility to hire instructors that will manage every situation. You can use vicarious liability for an insurance claim or file a personal injury lawsuit against the driving school.
  • Improper maintenance of vehicles means the driving school sent the student and the instructor on the road in a car that had defective equipment (unmaintained breaks, or broken headlights). You can use this when filing the claim against the driving school.

Being hit by a student driver might seem like a complicated thing, but with the right car accident lawyer, you can get the compensation you deserve. Call our firm and get your first consultation free of charge.

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