The Rights of Passengers Involved in Car Accidents  » Pacific Coast Injury Law Center

Car accidents can result in serious injuries to the passengers of a vehicle, in addition to the drivers. However, many people are not aware that they have rights to financial help for their injuries even if they were not driving the car. This article will provide information on what to do if you are a passenger involved in a car accident and how to get the compensation you deserve. 

Will the Driver’s Insurance Cover Your Injuries? 

As a passenger involved in a car accident, you have the right to receive help from all parties’ insurance companies. In California, all drivers are required to have $15,000 worth of bodily injury coverage per person. In addition, other types of coverage, such as no-fault medical payment coverage, may also be applicable. If you are injured in a car accident, you should not have to pay for your medical expenses from your savings or healthcare insurance. Instead, you can file a claim with the auto insurance of the driver of the car you were in, the driver of the other car involved, and even your own auto insurance policy. The insurance companies will typically try to determine fault and push the financial responsibility onto the at-fault driver’s policy. 

Can Passengers Sue for Injuries After an Accident? 

If the insurance companies do not offer enough help to cover your damages, you have other options available to you. With the help of a personal injury attorney, you can file a lawsuit in California’s civil courts. This type of lawsuit argues that the drivers had a responsibility to follow the rules of the road but were negligent and caused harm to innocent passengers like you. If the court rules in your favor, one or both drivers will be responsible for paying for any medical bills that their insurance company has denied. 

The court system’s priority is justice, unlike insurance companies whose focus is to save money. So, even if an insurance claim is denied due to a technicality, the court can still ensure that the responsible party pays for your injuries. Additionally, many drivers have liability coverage, so a court ruling in your favor can often force the insurance company to pay. Personal injury claims also provide compensation that insurance companies may ignore, such as financial losses from time off work, childcare, or help around the house. If your injuries are severe enough to disable you for an extended period, you can sue for lost earning potential, as well as for pain, suffering, trauma, and other mental damages. 

Who Is Responsible for Paying Your Passenger Injury Claim? 

In any car accident case, responsibility is a key dispute. To win a settlement, you must prove that the other party had a duty to you, failed to fulfill that duty, and directly contributed to your injuries. The most common parties to sue are the drivers of the vehicles involved. You have the right to sue both the driver of the car you were in and the driver of the other car involved. You can sue one or both drivers, and your chances of winning are higher if the drivers broke the law. If the driver was speeding, under the influence, or disregarded traffic signals, they have clearly failed their duty to drive safely. However, even if the driver was following the rules, if they acted negligently, such as taking corners too fast in the rain, you may still have a case. 

In some cases, other parties may also be at fault. If you were riding in a taxi or other commercial service, the company may be responsible for your injuries. If a third party caused poor driving conditions, such as a person blowing leaves into the road or a business failing to repair potholes in their parking lot, you have the right.

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