Passengers injured in car crashes usually have an easier time claiming damages than drivers. In fact, in multiple-car accidents, passengers can usually claim damages from all of the at-fault drivers. However, there are still issues that may limit your claim as a passenger injured in a car crash. Here are three such factors:
Your Relationship with the Driver
If you are related to the driver, then you may not be able to pursue a liability claim against them if you are a member of the driver's household. This is because, in both cases, the driver's auto insurance coverage extends to you, and you cannot make a liability claim against your own insurer.
Therefore, if you are driving to school one morning and get involved in an accident, they cannot pursue a liability claim against you. Instead, you have to file a first-party injury claim against your insurer. Follow your insurer's claim process to the letter to boost your chances of recovery.
Multiple Passenger Victims
The existence of multiple injured passengers may also limit your compensation. This is because you will all be making claims against the same negligent parties. This is disadvantageous if the liable parties do not have adequate coverage to settle all of your claims.
Consider an example where five passengers are pursuing liability claims against two drivers. It may happen that the total liability claim from the five passengers is over a million dollars while each driver has a coverage limit of $250,000. In such a case, you may have to settle for what you can get, even if it's less than what you are entitled to.
Passengers are rarely held liable if they are injured in car crashes. However, there are rare occasions where a passenger might cause or contribute to a car crash.
Consider the example of a passenger in the front seat who grabs for the wheel when they think the car is about to crash and ends up causing an accident. Another example is a passenger carrying a pet dog who lets the dog jump onto the driver, causing them to startle and hit an adjacent car. In both cases, the passenger may be held at least partially liable for their injuries. If that is the case, you may only be able to recover partial damages for your injuries. In a few states, you may not recover anything if you are even remotely liable for the accident.
Therefore, don't assume that your liability claim will automatically sail through if you are injured in a car accident. Consult a personal injury lawyer to evaluate your case and determine the best approach to recover your damages.Share