Help with spinal injury Legal frequently asked questions Can a driving instructor claim damages for an accident? Question: My step-daughter is learning how to drive and she asked me to take her out in my car for a lesson. I organised the insurance. I had taken her out for a few lessons. However, on our last lesson, she stopped at a junction and was about to turn right. She let the clutch out too quickly and didn’t have enough time to straighten up. She crashed into a bus stop. I was injured as a result of the accident. I wondered if I would be entitled to compensation when I was supposed to be in charge of her. Will the insurance company say that it was my own fault as I did not manage to straighten the steering wheel for her? Answer: I doubt the insurance company could escape liability by placing the whole blame on you for the accident. The driver, whether learner or qualified, owes a duty of care to all persons on the road, whether drivers or passengers in vehicles, pedestrians or otherwise. The driver owes that same duty of care to the instructor. However, an instructor may be found to have contributed to the accident if he or she has not been quick enough to correct errors. This is called contributory negligence. If the instructor has been found to have contributed to the accident by not reacting quickly enough, the court will make a percentage deduction from the award of damages to reflect the extent to which the instructor contributed to the accident. In previous cases involving learner drivers, the court has found that an instructor and learner driver are jointly concerned in driving a car and they must maintain the same level of control over the car as an experienced and skillful driver.