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Head-on collision kills two Tennessee teenagers


There is nothing more devastating for Knoxville residents than losing a loved one suddenly and unexpectedly. This is unfortunately the case with many car accidents, which can happen seemingly out of nowhere and on the most average of days in a person's life.

One fatal accident recently took the lives of two teenagers in Tennessee. The accident occurred after a 17-year-old driver reportedly crossed the center line of the highway and struck a pickup driven by a 53-year-old man. The 53-year-old man was airlifted from the scene of the head-on crash, while the 17-year-old driver and his 18-year-old passenger were both killed as a result of the accident.

Accidents like the above are not uncommon, although each case is different from one another. For example, cases involving juvenile drivers can present some unique circumstances because of the age of the driver. In some states, parents can be held liable for their children's negligent driving, which means the parents may be ordered to pay compensation to the injured party.

Some states, for instance, have something known as the family car doctrine, which holds the owner of the car legally responsible when accidents are caused by a family member driving the car. Other states may have similar legal principles that apply under a broader legal theory known as negligent entrustment. On the other hand, these doctrines are limited in some states.

Accordingly, while all car accidents may seem similar at first blush, in reality, each case may have slightly different facts that can make a big difference on who can be held liable for the accident. In addition, even under the same facts, each state's laws differ, and therefore a person may be liable for the accident in one state but it could be a closer question in another state.

Source: WBBJ, "Two teens killed in Benton Co. crash," Dec. 17, 2014

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