Who Could Be Responsible for Compensating You as a Passenger in an Auto Crash?
You will rarely be found at all at fault in causing an accident as a passenger. The only exceptions would be if you did something blatantly negligent, such as grabbing the steering wheel or blocking the driver’s view. Unless these situations apply, another party will be responsible for the accident—and for compensating you for your injuries. Potential liable parties include:
Other driver. If another driver’s negligence was the sole cause of the wreck, you would only file a claim for compensation with his insurance company. This could be a clear-cut case.
Your driver. The driver of your vehicle may have been a family member or friend. If he was the negligent party, you would need to file a claim with his insurance company. You may feel uncomfortable doing this because the person is someone that you care about. However, you need to keep in mind that the insurance company—not your friend or family member—will be paying you the settlement proceeds. In addition, you need the compensation to pay for your medical treatments, replace lost wages, and compensate you for your pain and suffering.
Third party. In some accidents, another party partially or completely caused the accident. For example, if road construction or design caused your injuries, you may need to file a claim with a municipality. If maintenance problems, such as to the tires or brakes, were the problem, you could have a claim against the repair facility or mechanic.
Your insurance policy. If you purchased additional insurance coverage, such as uninsured, underinsured, or Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, you may be able to file a claim with your own insurance company to compensate you for medical bills, lost wages, and more that is not paid by a liable party.
Some of above. In some cases, more than one party could be liable for compensating you, and you would need to file a claim with more than one insurance company. For example, both drivers may have caused your injuries due to their negligent driving. These cases can be more difficult to resolve as neither insurance company may be willing to settle your claim.
Do you need to make a passenger claim for compensation? Our experienced car accident attorneys are here to answer your questions and guide you through the process. Call our office today to schedule your free case evaluation.