In a Crash with a Student Driver?

Liability in accidents involving student drivers can be more difficult to determine, but it may be possible to file a claim or lawsuit if a student, instructor, or driving school was responsible for an accident.

When the Student Is Liable

In some cases, driver’s ed students may engage in negligent behavior that causes an accident. If a student is responsible for an accident, the other driver may be able to file a claim against the driver or insurance company. It may also be possible to file a lawsuit against the driver if a settlement can’t be reached. 

Students may be liable if they failed to drive in a reasonably safe manner under the circumstances leading up to the accident. This means that the student may need to cover any related injuries sustained along with other damages resulting from the accident.

When an Instructor Is Responsible

Other accidents may result from a negligent instructor who rode with the student. Driver’s ed instructors are required to help guide the student driver. They also must take control of the vehicle if needed. If an instructor’s negligence causes an accident and subsequent damages they could have prevented, the other driver could file a claim or lawsuit against him or her. If the student also exhibited careless behavior that caused the accident, the other party may be able to sue both the instructor and student.

Driving School Liability

Some car accidents may result in part due to the driving school’s negligence. A driving school could be responsible for an accident in a few different ways.

For instance, the school might fail to properly manage and train drivers, leading the employees to practice reckless or careless driving or instruction on the job that results in an accident. Driving schools could also be responsible for failing to properly screen employees before hiring them, which qualifies as negligent hiring.

Additionally, driving schools are often responsible for maintaining the vehicles their employees and students use. If a vehicle’s poor maintenance results in mechanical failure that leads to an accident, the driving school may be at fault.

In any case, either the student, instructor, or driving school may be liable in the event of an accident, but some accidents may involve multiple liable parties. If any party is found liable for an accident, either they or their insurers may need to provide compensation for related damages.