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Sawicki Law Firm Blog

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Six Cleburne High students taken to hospital after crash

Who is responsible when minors cause automobile accidents?

Automobile accidents are traumatic experiences, especially when they happen to minors. In addition to the sometimes life-altering injuries that may occur, issues often spring up later on when questions of liability arise.  In some situations, multiple parties might be held responsible for injuries and property damage.

High School Students Crash During School Hours

Recently, seven Cleburne high school students left campus for a school sanctioned outing to obtain pallets for the upcoming Homecoming Bonfire.  The students were in two vehicles, at least one of which was driven by a minor.  The two drivers began engaging in horseplay and one attempted to pass the other in a no-passing zone. When the truck, driven by 17-year old Dustin Parrick returned to the proper lane, the truck driven by the another Cleburne student hit it.

Both vehicles left the road, one of them flipped over and knocked down a fence.  Six of the seven students were injured and taken to Texas Harris Methodist Hospital for medical attention.  Thankfully, none of the students’ injuries were life threatening.

Parental Liability

In automobile accidents involving minor drivers, the parents of the minors will always be held liable for the minor’s conduct. Because Texas is a fault state, if someone is injured or property is damaged due to the minor’s alleged conduct, they must first prove that it was the minor’s fault.  In most cases, the parents’ insurance company will cover damages, unless the policy states otherwise.

Public Entity Liability

In some personal injury situations, a public entity may also be implicated for liability.  This may be the case with the Cleburne High School accident because the students had been entrusted to the care of the school during that time. 

Claims against public entities in Texas must be handled in a timely fashion. Under the Texas Tort Claims Act, any claim of injury or death must be submitted to the entity within six months of the occurrence.  Additionally, the notice must contain certain information about the injury and the even that caused the injury.

Unraveling Liability

Determining liability for personal injuries caused by minors can be complicated. Having an experienced Texas automobile accident attorney on your side can increase your chances of monetary recovery.  If you or someone you care about has been injured in an automobile accident, call Sawicki Law today at 888-468-8844 for a free consultation.

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