What to Do When Your Teen Driver Is Injured in a Car Accident - NOT APPROVED

  • November 08, 2025

Every parent dreads getting that call from their teen driver, saying that they have been involved in an accident. If you get that dreaded call, it is important to know what to do, and how to coach your child through the proper steps to follow after an accident. We know that, at times like these, emotions can run high, and it might be difficult to remember what they should do, so we have put together some reminders—for you and for them—to ensure that everything is handled appropriately.

Ensure They Are in a Safe Location

Your first question to your teen will probably be whether or not they are injured. Your second question should be if they are in a safe location. Sometimes, the shock of the accident can leave a person (especially a young person who has never been in this kind of situation before) in a stunned state, unable to think through situations logically. As a result, they may still be sitting in their car in the middle of a lane of traffic. Ask them if they can drive the car to the side of the road. If the car will not start, ask if they can safely get out and move to the shoulder themselves. If they are injured and cannot get out of the car, make sure that they stay in their seat with their seatbelt buckled.

Make Sure Someone Calls 911

Sometimes, when something as traumatic as a car accident occurs, your teen’s first instinct is to reach out to you. So, make sure that they (or someone else at the scene) have called 911. They should do this regardless of whether or not there are any obvious injuries in the accident. New Jersey law requires that any accident resulting in a person’s injury or death, or any accident that caused more than $500 of damage to one person’s property must be reported to the police. Even if they do not believe these requirements have been met, it is still in everyone’s best interest to call the police.

Oftentimes, hidden damage on a vehicle can be spotted later, when seemingly minor cosmetic damage is being repaired; this can dramatically increase the repair costs and make the accident one that is legally required to be reported. Similarly, injuries often surface days or even weeks after an accident occurs. It is always best to err on the side of caution and call 911 after any accident.

Encourage Them to Get Driver Information

If your teen is in a state that allows them to do so, encourage them to collect the information of other drivers involved in the incident. It is generally best if they can take photographs of the other drivers’ insurance cards and driver's licenses to ensure that all information they receive is accurate. While they may think that the police report will be able to provide all of this information for them, it is generally best to collect it yourself and keep it on hand for filing any future claims.

Ask Them to Take Photos

Additionally, ask your teen if they are able to take photos of the scene. They should only do this if they are not injured and if it is safe for them to move around the scene of the accident; they should not be stepping into lanes of traffic or getting in the way of first responders to take photos. So long as they can do so safely, they should take photos of the damage to your family’s vehicle, the other cars, and the accident scene as a whole. These photos can be vital to capturing factors like road conditions; the arrangement of the vehicles and the types of damage they sustained can also help in determining the cause of the accident. Additionally, have them write down as many details of the incident as they can remember at that time—their speed, the date and time of the accident, any unusual circumstances they noticed leading up to the accident, and so on.

Contact Your Insurance Agent

From here, the responsibility for handling the incident will likely shift to you as the parent. You will need to contact your insurance company to file a claim for the accident. Because New Jersey is a no-fault state, you will seek the cost of your property damage and any medical care your teen needs from your own insurance first. However, if your teen sustained severe injuries in the accident, and the police report deems another party to be directly responsible for the accident, you may be able to pursue compensation for their injuries.

Because your teen is a minor, you will need to file a personal injury lawsuit on their behalf. Selem Antonucci Law can help guide you through the unique complexities involved with filing for compensation on behalf of a minor. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.

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