Learning how to drive is stressful. It’s easy to forget that if you’ve been driving for decades. Yet, for those who are first learning, it’s a lot to take in, they have to apply newly learned traffic rules, deal with other motorists, and control their nerves. What has come to be second nature to a seasoned driver is quite foreign to a newbie.
So what happens when a driver with a learner’s permit gets into a car accident? Who’s liable? Are there special rules that apply specifically to those who carry a learner’s permit?
Getting Into a Car Accident With a Florida Learner’s Permit
Florida law (Florida Statute 322.1615) establishes that drivers who are at least 15 years of age, have passed the required examinations and have a learner’s permit are allowed to drive a motor vehicle subject to the following: The driver must be accompanied by a licensed driver who is least 21 years of age, and who sits in the front passenger seat.
In addition, drivers with a learner’s permit are only allowed to drive during daylight hours. Three months after obtaining the permit, that curfew is extended to 10:00 PM.
Two things a parent or guardian should be aware of are (1) terms of when and how a driver with a learner’s permit can drive, and (2) who is liable if the driver is involved in an accident.
Failing to comply with the terms imposed by Florida Statute 322.1615 can result in civil penalties depending on the violation, such as speeding, infraction of pedestrian regulations, or the number of infractions the driver has previously committed.
If a driver with a learner’s permit is involved in a car accident, the first thing considered is the driver’s age.
If the driver is under 18, Florida Statute 322.09 establishes that when the driver applies for a learner’s permit or a driver’s license, a parent or legal guardian is required to sign the application along with the driver. If the driver gets into a car accident, the adult who signed the application will be held responsible for the accident.
If the driver is over 18, they are the only person who’s required to sign the driving application. That being said, if the driver’s parent or guardian consents to allow them to drive a car registered in the parent or guardian’s name, the parent or guardian can still be held liable. The consent does not necessarily have to be voiced. If the driver with the learner’s permit lives in the same household as the parent or guardian, or if the parent or guardian habitually lends their car to the driver, a court could rule the vehicle’s usage as implied consent.
Paying for Damages After a Car Accident with a Learner’s Permit
All car insurance policies in Florida are required to provide Personal Injury Protection (PIP) for up to $10,000. This coverage applies to anyone who’s involved in a car accident, and covers 80% of medical bills and 60% of lost wages for the following persons:
- The named insured
- Relatives living with the named insured
- Persons driving the insured motor vehicle
- Passengers in the motor vehicle
- Any person(s) struck by the motor vehicle
For benefits to apply, the insured must file a claim with their insurance company within 14 days of the accident. If the losses exceed $10,000, the party responsible for the accident could be sued.
Call Clark Law if You Were Involved in a Car Accident in Tampa Bay
When you are involved in an auto accident, the first thing to do is seek medical attention. The second most important thing is to consult with a car accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss the details of your collision and determine the best course of action.
Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.