If you travel as a passenger in a car involved in an accident and suffered injuries, you may file a claim for any damages that you suffered as a result of the accident. The complaint you submit may include anyone who is responsible for the accident.
The types of claims that you may make as a passenger also depend on the state in which you live. Some states have no-fault accident laws. In these states, you may only have the right to claim with your own driver’s insurance policy. In these states, fault for the accident does not factor into the decision. If your injuries are severe, though, you may also file a claim for being a passenger in a car accident with the other driver’s insurance.
Also, if you classify as a relative of the person driving you or you live in the same household, limits may apply to the claims that you can make. Generally, you may not pursue any litigation against your own relative.
Third-Party Injury Claims
Third-party injury claims refer to claims that you make on someone else’s car insurance policy. As a passenger, you may file a third-party claim against the insurance policy of the driver who bears fault for the accident.
The circumstances surrounding a third-party claim may vary. For example, if the accident only involved a single car in which your driver hit an inanimate object, such as a tree, you can file your claim against their insurance policy. If you experienced a standard two-car crash, you may submit the claim for being a passenger in a car accident with your driver’s insurance policy as well as the other driver’s insurance policy. The party you file your claim against will depend on who investigators find liable for the accident. It may also depend on the laws of the state where the accident took place.
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Proving an Injury Claim as a Passenger in a Car Accident
As a passenger of a car involved in a collision, you typically do not bear liability for the cause of the accident. To make a third-party claim, you will need to prove both the liability of the other driver and the losses you suffered in the accident. A passenger accident lawyer may help identify the steps that you can take to show that your injuries resulted from the accident.
First, make sure that you have a doctor check you over as soon as possible after the accident occurs. Visiting a doctor and filing a claim with your personal health insurance or possibly your car insurance during the early stages after an accident can provide a list of your injuries. These steps may help to preserve your legal rights as a passenger. Besides, taking these actions may help to provide your attorney with more information as you try to make your case for an award.
Types of Losses That May Qualify for Compensation
Depending on the accident, you may file a suit for different kinds of losses. Some losses that you may claim include:
- Medical costs, both current and future
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
Each state has set limits on the amounts of insurance that a driver must carry. At times, these minimums may not provide enough compensation to cover the expenses resulting from your injuries fairly. In this case, you may have to file with all insurance companies in order to cover your expenses, including your personal health insurance as well.
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The Fault-Based System
Under the fault-based system, you, as a passenger, do not bear any negligence in the accident. The negligence and liability for a car accident lie with the drivers of one or more of the vehicles. As a result, you should receive fair compensation for any injuries that you suffered as a result of the accident.
Even in no-fault insurance states like Florida, you have rights as a passenger. No-fault states may establish lower limits for compensation, but as a passenger, you may still recover awards for any injuries that you suffered. Litigation in no-fault states rarely occurs, though, as losses must meet certain levels of severity to bring forth prosecution for personal injuries suffered in a car accident.
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Legal Aid for Injuries Suffered by a Passenger in a Car Accident
If you suffer from any injury as the result of being a passenger in a car accident, contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC, at 800-601-7557. Our team wants to discuss your accident case with you during a free consultation to try to help you determine your legal options.
Call or text 800-598-7557 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form