Can I Sue a Driver With a Learner’s Permit Who Caused a Crash?

Posted on behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak

on June 2, 2023

. Updated on June 9, 2023


Driving instructor taking notes while student driver checks the rearview mirror.Car accidents involving drivers with permits can be complicated. It is important to understand the rules and regulations in place.

In Indiana, these accidents carry unique considerations, including insurance coverage, borrowed vehicles and whether minor drivers are involved.

If you were injured by a driver with a learner’s permit, you have the right to pursue compensation for your damages. Call our knowledgeable car crash lawyers in South Bend today to learn more about your legal options.

Below, we discuss the intricacies of crashes caused by permitted drivers and how we may be able to help you navigate the situation.

What Are the Rules for Permitted Drivers in Indiana?

Permitted drivers are individuals who hold learner’s permits and are in the early stages of obtaining their driver’s licenses.

According to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), permitted drivers may only drive:

  • When accompanied by a licensed driving instructor or a BMV-certified driver rehabilitation specialist OR
  • With a licensed driver over the age of 25 who is related by blood, marriage or legal status

Permitted drivers are also subject to drive time restrictions. They are allowed to drive between the hours of 5:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. Exceptions may be made for school or work-related activities, religious events or emergencies.

In addition to a curfew, permitted drivers are not allowed to have passengers in their vehicles, except for the licensed individual in the front seat. Some exceptions to this rule include immediate family members in the back seat.

How Does Insurance Work For Permitted Drivers in Indiana?

Insurance coverage for permitted drivers in Indiana varies depending on the specific insurance policies held by the driver and the owner of the vehicle.

In most cases, the permitted driver is on the insurance policy of a family or household member. This means that the primary insurance coverage for the permitted driver will be provided by the policyholder’s insurance company.

However, some insurance policies may have limitations or exclusions for permitted drivers. It is extremely important to have your lawyer review the policy terms and conditions to determine if there are any specific restrictions or requirements applicable to permitted drivers.

Most permitted drivers are driving someone else’s car. However, there are some instances when the new driver has the car in his or her name and does not live at the home of someone who can add the vehicle to his or her policy. In this case, the permitted driver must get a policy under his or her name. Most insurance companies do not allow this, though.

What if the Permitted Driver Was in a Borrowed Vehicle?

If a permitted driver in Indiana is involved in an accident while driving a borrowed vehicle, several factors come into play regarding liability and insurance coverage.

Usually, the insurance coverage of the vehicle owner is the primary coverage for accidents involving a borrowed vehicle. The owner’s insurance policy may extend coverage to any permissive driver, including a permitted driver, if he or she had permission to drive the vehicle.

It is crucial for the permitted driver to have explicit permission and consent from the owner of the vehicle to drive the car because otherwise, the insurance company will not cover damages.

What if the Permitted Driver is a Minor?

Parents or legal guardians of a minor driver with a permit may be held liable for the actions of their minor child while driving. Liability may fall to the parent or guardian due to negligent supervision or entrustment of the vehicle to the minor.

The insurance coverage of the parent or legal guardian of the minor permitted driver should provide coverage for damages and injuries resulting from the accident. This is typically the primary insurance company with which you can file a claim.

In some cases, a minor permitted driver may have their own insurance policy. This could occur if the minor’s parent or guardian specifically purchased a separate policy for their child.

When dealing with the legal aspects of a car crash involving a minor permitted driver, it may be in your best interest to work with an experienced attorney.

Contact an Experienced Attorney After a Crash

Claims for car crashes caused by permitted drivers in Indiana present unique challenges that require a thorough understanding of the rules, insurance coverage, borrowed vehicles and the involvement of minors.

Let our experienced lawyers help you through the complex legal process. We do not charge you anything while we work on your case. You only pay when we win.

Call (844) 678-1800 to schedule a free consultation.

Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak

Serious Attorneys for Serious Cases