Being a passenger in someone else’s car during an accident is a traumatizing situation. In 2015, The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported that crashes killed nearly 22,543 passenger riders in just one year, meaning that riders make up 64 percent of all fatalities stemming from road accidents.
Like drivers, injured individuals have the right to receive compensation for medical damages sustained during a crash caused by a driver. The easiest way to go about collecting payment for your pain and suffering is to call in a legal expert. An accident attorney knows these cases inside and out, giving you an advantage when you go to court.
Generally, passengers are not at fault for accidents. An injured person must prove to the court that another driver behaved negligently and caused the collision. Certain parties are liable for compensating passengers, including:
The Driver of the car in which the person is a passenger – Sometimes, the driver of the vehicle the passenger is riding in is responsible for an accident. Usually, the driver is a family member or friend, which can lead to feelings of guilt when it comes time to file a claim. However, the driver’s insurance company, not the driver, would compensate the person.
Another driver – If the driver of another vehicle is at fault for the accident, the passenger will go through that person’s insurance company to recover compensation for their injuries.
The third party – In some cases, the accident that left a passenger injured may not even be the fault of a driver at all. A third party might be responsible instead, like in cases of road work lacking enough warnings, or a vehicle malfunctioning due to manufacturing issues.
Own insurance policy – An injured passenger may also be able to receive compensation for their medical bills and other damages through their medical coverage.
In some cases, a passenger may even have to file a claim against more than one of these parties. For instance, if there are several drivers sharing fault for an accident, the passenger could file complaints with both their insurers.
Unfortunately, specific problems make it more difficult for an injured party to receive a settlement. Insurance companies can claim that another driver is at fault for the accident, absolving themselves of the responsibility of payment. The injured passenger ends up being a victim of this dispute and must fight to get compensation after establishing a liability agreement.
Multiple claims from different injured parties are problematic as well. Insurance companies are reluctant to pay out a settlement if various claims don’t reach a conclusion in time, which could ultimately mean that the victim gets short-changed in their compensation.
With so many parties fighting against another, it’s vital to have an attorney present to amplify your voice in court and make sure your case isn’t forgotten. At the Law Offices of McCullough & Leboff, PA, our seasoned team of personal injury lawyers have over 48 years of legal experience to work on your behalf to maximize insurance benefits and secure compensation for medical benefits, lost wages, and other costs. Contact us today to discuss your injury claim and how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.