What to do if my 17 year old son rear-ended the car in front of him, should he pay the other driver even though they were unlicensed?

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What to do if my 17 year old son rear-ended the car in front of him, should he pay the other driver even though they were unlicensed?

He rear-ended the car in front of him that slammed her brakes to avoid rear-ending the car in front of her. It was raining and both cars slid before impact. The car that he hit had an unlicensed driver (another teenager) and no police report was made. The unlicensed driver wants damages to be paid by my son. What is the right thing to do?

Asked on March 4, 2015 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

Billie Ruth Edwards / Edwards & Johnson, Attorneys, LLC

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The right thing to do is first protect yourself and your son. If you just pay the other driver money, without getting the appopriate releases and indemnifications, you may find yourself (or your son may find himself) paying the same or a greater amount again later.

Even though the other driver was unlicensed, the owner of the vehicle might have been insured. You need to talk to that owner. If the other vehicle was insured, you need to talk to the insurance company before you pay anything to anyone. And if you do pay money for the damages, make sure you get a Release of liability with an indemnification clause so the matter is finally settled.

If you decide to pay the other driver, in addition to the release and the indemnification, you need to negotiate with them the extent they were at fault. If this were to go to trial, their fault would reduce the amount your son would be liable to pay.

If you still have questions, or need further information, you should make an appointment with an attorney for an initial consultation.


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