As more young drivers take the roadway, this increase in independence does not come without its risks. Studies have shown that the risk of car accidents, injuries and damage to property is much higher among novice or underage drivers than drivers with more experience. The chances of being hit and harmed due to the actions of an underage driver is also significantly higher.
Our legal team at Greg Monforton & Partners are well-versed in the different types of laws that apply to driving privileges within the province. Learn more about what to do if involved in a car accident with an underage driver and why additional insurance coverage in these situations could help cover your losses.
Ontario Laws Concerning Novice Drivers
Novice drivers in Ontario have to follow certain driving restrictions in accordance with the Highway Traffic Act, the Liquor Licence Act and G2 licence rules.
These restrictions include being able to practice driving with a G2 licence without having an experienced driver with them on the roadway. Although this type of licence means passing a road test, this long practice period could potentially lead to accidents and injuries because novice drivers are able to operate a vehicle on their own without another fully licenced driver present.
Novice drivers must also maintain a zero blood alcohol level. Unfortunately, some of the most common car accidents are due to underage drivers drinking and driving. Knowing that alcohol caused or contributed to your injury could help prove negligence when filing a claim for compensation.
Other restrictions include the number of passengers a novice driver can have in his or her vehicle. During the first six months with a G2 licence, novice drivers can only drive with one passenger who is 19 years old and under between midnight and 5 a.m. After six months have passed, up to three passengers are allowed. It is important to note that these limits do not apply if a fully licenced driver is in the vehicle or if the passengers are immediate family members.
Steps to Take If Hit By An Underage Driver
If you have been hit by an underage driver, there are several steps to take. The first step is to contact the police and seek medical assistance for your injury. The parents of the underage driver will be notified and called to the accident scene.
The next step is to get the driver’s name, address and phone number and contact and insurance information from his or her parents. If you are physically capable, take pictures of the accident, visible injuries and property damage.
Another step is reaching out to your insurance company to notify them of the car accident. A licenced Windsor car accident lawyer from our firm could help communicate with the insurer on your behalf. We are also ready to explain your rights and determine your possible legal options in a no-cost consultation.
Who is Liable for Any Injuries Sustained?
Generally, the underage driver could be held liable for injuries caused by his or her negligence. Underage drivers, however, may not have liability insurance or adequate coverage to cover losses.
If the underage driver was operating his or her parent's vehicle, the parents of the underage driver would be responsible for damages. In Canada, the insurance follows the vehicle, so if the parents let their child borrow the vehicle, any claims you make will be made against their insurance policy.
In any case, Ontario drivers are required to carry uninsured motorist coverage. You could make a claim with your own insurance policy if you are hit by an underage and uninsured driver to help with covering your damages instead of pursuing compensation from the at-fault driver.
Other options to consider include purchasing additional insurance or increasing coverage amounts above the minimum requirements to decrease the risks of not having enough to cover your losses.
Speak With a Lawyer From Our Firm Today
If you have been hurt by an underage driver, having an experienced lawyer on your side can be beneficial. Our lawyers are prepared to help guide you through the claims process to pursue maximum compensation for you. We have successfully recovered $300,000,000 for our clients over the years.
Our consultations are free without risk or obligation to move forward. If your claim has merit, you pay us nothing up front until you obtain compensation. We are available 24/7 to take your call or chat online.
Greg Monforton & Partners. No upfront fees. Ph: (866) 320-4770.