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Can Drivers With a Learner’s Permit Be Liable for a Car Accident?

Our Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Provide Legal Guidance to Car Accident Victims

Student drivers get real-world experience only from being behind the wheel and driving on roads with other motorists. While some take to driving naturally, others are more prone to making mistakes. When that happens and an accident results, who is liable for a crash caused by a driver with a learner’s permit?

Learner’s Permits in Pennsylvania

A learner’s permit can be issued to anyone in Pennsylvania who is at least 16 years old and:

  • Has never had a driver’s license.
  • Is a new resident licensed in another state with an expired driver’s license.
  • Residents age 18 and younger must complete 65 hours of skill building with an adult. That includes:
    • Five hours of driving in bad weather.
    • Ten hours of nighttime driving.
    • A six-month waiting period.
    • When those requirements are met, a road test can be scheduled.

How Are Drivers With Learner’s Permits Insured?

Since many drivers with learner’s permits are minors, most states do not mandate that they have their auto insurance policies. Whoever owns the vehicle (often a parent) is typically responsible for damages incurred in accidents. Insurance providers recommend that parents of minors with learner’s permits alert them about how the vehicle is used.

Adding the child to the policy as a protective measure is a good idea. When the minor child is not on the policy, they will still be covered if the vehicle owner permits them to use the car.

Who Pays for Damages?

There are a few options for claiming injuries or damages from a car accident caused by a driver with a learner’s permit. The allegedly liable party might be the student driver or their parent or guardian, but other possibilities exist:

  • The driver: If the student driver has their insurance, you may be able to seek compensation, claiming they were negligent. Though new to the game, they still have a legal duty to follow traffic laws and drive safely.
  • The driver’s parent or guardian: As mentioned, student drivers with learner’s permits are often covered by their parents’ or guardians’ policies.
  • A driving instructor: Student drivers often work with independent driving instructors and those employed by driving schools. The instructor might share the fault with the driver and the school if your accident occurred during a lesson.

What Should I Do After an Accident With a Driver Who Has a Learner’s Permit?

As with all accidents, medical care is the priority. Call for emergency services and wait for help to arrive. Even if no one needs to be transported to the ER, it is vital to have a police report. Exchange license, registration, and insurance information with the other driver and snap photos at the scene that might serve as evidence.

Contact your insurance company to notify them of the crash, but do not admit fault or provide unnecessary information. This can also be a good time to contact a car accident lawyer for a free consultation.

Our Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Provide Legal Guidance to Car Accident Victims

Student drivers need to learn the necessary skills, but accidents can still happen. Contact our experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC for a free consultation. Call 215-569-8488 or complete our online form to learn more. Located in Philadelphia and Abington, Pennsylvania, as well as Wilmington, Delaware, we serve clients in the surrounding areas.