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Maryland accident lawyer asks: When you’re teaching or supervising a novice driver, are you liable for an accident they cause?

Let’s say a teenaged family member or friend is currently learning how to drive. Or maybe it’s not a teenager; it’s an adult friend who is new to the road and working towards obtaining a driver’s license. You may find yourself in the position of supervising their driving or teaching them how to drive, whether it’s showing them how to parallel park or make smooth turns with the vehicle.
Here’s an important question you should consider: What happens if they get into a crash while you’re either supervising them or are teaching them how to drive? The consequences of this accident could range from a minor fender dent to severe injury or loss of life. For example, investigators currently believe that a recent accident near Silver Spring that claimed the life of a teenaged pedestrian and injured her mother stemmed from a driving lesson conducted irresponsibly.
There are no easy answers to that question. A lot of it depends on the circumstances surrounding the crash. The following are a few issues to consider:
The owner of the car. Whose car was involved? Was it your car, or did it belong to the novice driver or their parents or relatives? If the accident involved your car, which was in use with your permission, the chances that you will be held at least partly responsible have greatly increased.
The nature of your services. If you’re offering driving supervision or instruction as a paid service, you or your employer may also be on the hook for an accident.
Your own behavior. If you’ve taken on the responsibility of supervising an underaged driver, for example, but you’re intoxicated, inattentive or aren’t old enough to actually supervise anyone, you may also be held responsible. If you make poor judgment calls while teaching someone how to drive, this could also be a problem. For instance, if you take someone out for their first driving lesson on a crowded road (as opposed to a relatively empty lot), maybe this ill-advised decision will be held against you.
If you’ve been involved in an accident in the capacity of a teacher or supervisor on the road, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced Maryland accident lawyer. Your attorney will carefully evaluate what happened. It’s possible that neither you nor the driver you were supervising or teaching was actually responsible for the crash. Regardless, you’ll want an attorney on your side to advise you and serve as your legal advocate during what could be a thorny set of circumstances.

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