As a teenager who has recently earned the right to drive, you will encounter a lot of financial responsibility. It is not just about buying a car and driving it. There is car insurance to pay too. You, the youngest drivers in the nation, often have to have insurance because you are the least-experienced drivers and the most likely to get into an accident. That said, here is a little Q&A about car insurance.
If You Only Make Your First Insurance Payment and Then Get into an Accident, Will the Insurance Company Pay?
Insurance companies are bound by the rules set forth in your contract with them. If you are covered regardless of how many payments you have made, then yes, your car insurance company will pay for the repairs to your car (minus the deductible). However, if your deductible is really high (as is often the case with new drivers), then you may find that your insurance does not cover the cost of repairs when the total bill is less than your deductible.
If You Are Texting at a Red Light and Get Hit from Behind, Are You at Fault?
You should not be texting at all while you are in the driver's seat. In most states it is against the law to be texting or using your phone, even if you are at a full stop at a stop light. While the driver who rear-ended you shares some blame for hitting you and not stopping on time, traffic cameras may pin the full blame on you when the footage is shown in traffic court. It becomes apparent that both drivers were inattentive, but had the adolescent driver not been texting, he/she could have avoided the accident by moving forward or out of the way when witnessing the other driver coming up too quickly from behind.
If You Open a Car Door into Traffic and It Gets Hit, Who Pays?
This is a doozy of a situation, since curbside parking is quite common in the city. The important things are the details. Did the other driver seem to come out of nowhere, even when you did check the lanes behind and to the side of you? The insurance inspector will be able to tell via any traffic cam footage and the damage done to the door who is at fault. Unless you live in a "no-fault" state, the person who is determined to be at fault is the one that pays.