The rights of a passenger injured in a car accident are similar to any other injured party.
The personal injury claim of a passenger who becomes injured in a car accident is comparatively more straightforward than that of the driver because the passenger does not have to prove liability for the accident as one of the drivers will be held liable. The rights of a passenger injured in a car accident are similar to any other injured party. The victim must prove two things — liability and the severity of injuries sustained in the accident.
Establishing Liability of the Driver
If a car accident involves two cars, at least one of the drivers will most likely be held liable for causing the accident. It generally happens that either of the two drivers would have been driving in a negligent manner, resulting in the accident. If the accident involves only one car, for example, hitting a tree, the car driver will be held liable for driving negligently or failing to drive cautiously. There are, however, exceptions to this rule. For example, if a car hits a deer, which jumped in front of the vehicle, the liability will generally not rest with the driver as they did not expect the deer to be there. Hence the driver may not be considered negligent in this case.
Passenger Injury Claim
A claim for passenger injury is just like a personal injury claim for car accidents; the only difference is that the claim will be filed against both drivers in the case of a two-car accident. The passenger is required to obtain the insurance information from both the drivers and file the compensation claim with the insurance company of the respective drivers. There are certain types of accidents where one of the drivers is not liable for causing the accident. A rear-end collision is one such type where the front vehicle driver was usually not negligent. In such cases, the claim is usually filed against the vehicle driver who rear-ended the lead car, though there are exceptions.
When Two or More Passengers Are Involved
One complication in passenger injury claims is when there are two or more passengers involved. For example, if three passengers are injured in a rear-end collision, they will file for damages against one driver. The driver’s insurance may limit the maximum settlement amount, and the three may have to settle for compensation lower than what their case is truly worth.
Because these cases can be challenging, it is highly recommended that you speak with an experienced attorney if you are injured in an accident as a passenger.