Thousands of accidents happen every day – fortunately, a majority of them result in minor damages with no physical harm, while some of them cause serious bodily injury and property damage. However, if you are involved in an accident as a passenger, you may not know how you can get compensation for their injuries. Generally, passengers have several options at their disposal for making a claim to recover damages.
Determining Fault and Liability
Typically, it is easy for a passenger to determine fault and liability than a driver bringing a claim against the other driver. This is because passengers do not bear the burden of proving liability – it is understood that one of the drivers is liable, and the plaintiff has to prove it with the help of their personal injury attorney.
The plaintiff needs to establish two things to make a claim: liability and extent of damages. If it was a one car accident, then it is obvious that the driver is liable. For example, hitting a stationary car in a parking lot or crashing into a tree. In such a case, the driver either failed to take appropriate actions to avoid the accident or did something that caused the accident.
If the accident involved two cars, it is natural for one of the two drivers to be liable. It is a rare occurrence for both drivers to be equally responsible for the accident, and hence you can make a claim against the at-fault driver when fault has been established.
If more than one passengers were injured in the accident, all of them can file a claim against the negligent driver. However, each passenger would have to settle for a portion of the total settlement amount if it exceeds the at-fault driver’s insurance limit.
Filing a Claim for Compensation
The passenger has the legal right of making a claim against the insurance policy of the driver with whom they were riding, if they are found to be at-fault. They can recover damages such as present and future medical expenses, lost wages, and some of the non-economic damages, based on the particular situation, up to the policy’s limit.
However, if the passenger is related to the driver, like a sibling or child, special rules may apply. Generally, insurance policies do not provide coverage to injured people who are related to the driver. This is because the claim would then be considered as providing coverage to its own insured driver. In other words, it is not possible to file a liability claim against one’s own auto liability insurance. If the other driver was responsible for the accident, the passenger can make a claim on their policy, or in case of the related driver, they may turn to their own insurance.
While it is relatively easy for a passenger to make a claim against the at-fault driver, legal situations tend to become complicated. It is best that you retain the services of an experienced auto accident attorney to help you with your case. Contact the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. at (847) 395-2200 or online today to schedule your initial consultation.