When you are a passenger in a vehicle driven by a friend or family member, you are in as much danger of being injured in an auto accident as the driver. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 64 percent of all car accident fatalities—22,543 deaths—were passengers in 2015. If you are the victim of a car accident as a passenger, you may have the right to compensation for your injuries. In fact, you may have more potential parties to pursue claims with than if you were one of the drivers.
Negligent Parties That Could Be Responsible for Compensating You If You Are a Passenger
As a passenger, your rights to compensation will most likely be stronger than that of the driver. This is because passengers are rarely negligent in causing a vehicle crash unless they were doing something such as grabbing the steering wheel or sticking a cell phone in front of the driver’s face. The following are a few of the negligent parties that you may be able to turn to for compensation:
- Your driver. If the driver of the auto you were in caused the crash or was partially to blame, you will need to file a claim with his insurance company. You may be reluctant to do so because this person is most likely a family member or friend. However, you need to remember that the insurance company—and not this person—will be paying you.
- Other driver. If the other driver involved in the accident was completely or partially at fault in causing your injuries, you would pursue a claim for compensation with his insurance company.
- Both drivers. In some cases, both drivers will be partially to blame. In this situation, you should pursue a claim with both drivers’ insurance companies to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve from whichever party is determined to be negligent.
- Third parties. If defects in the road, manufacturer defects in one of the vehicles, or other negligent actions contributed to your injuries, you could have a claim against a third party in addition to the drivers.
- Your own insurance policy. When the negligent driver’s insurance policy does not provide enough coverage to compensate you fully, you may need to look to your own auto insurance policy for compensation if you purchased uninsured or underinsured insurance coverage.
Were you a passenger in a car accident? The experienced car accident attorneys at Tavss Fletcher are here to help you determine who is liable to compensate you for your injuries. Start an online chat to schedule your free consultation.