As a passenger in a vehicle involved in a collision, you have the same rights as a driver. If another party – whether a negligent driver, a vehicle manufacturer, a trucking company, or someone else – is responsible for the accident, you are entitled to claim rightful compensation for your losses. You may also be able to have your medical bills covered by your own auto insurance company up to the personal injury protection (“PIP”) limit in your policy, which is usually $10,000. If you purchased “Med Pay” as part of your policy, you may have additional medical coverage, as well.
However, as a passenger, you may also have an additional claim for compensation: You may be able to recover your damages from the driver of the vehicle in which you were injured (or, more likely, his or her insurance company). These cases can quickly get complicated. To protect your rights, it is best to seek experienced legal representation.
Passenger Compensation in Auto Accidents: Who Was At-Fault?
Aside from the no-fault medical coverage available through PIP and Med Pay, generally speaking, in order to recover compensation for your injuries, you will need to be able to demonstrate that someone else was at-fault in the accident. This is the same as any other type of auto accident (or other personal injury) claim. Except in scenarios involving certain types of insurance coverage, if a party wasn’t at-fault, they most likely aren’t going to pay for your injuries.
But, in auto accidents, more often than not, someone is to blame. Drivers who speed, drive recklessly, drive drunk, and text behind the wheel are all regularly at-fault in vehicle collisions. Tire blowouts and brake failures may mean that a manufacturer or mechanic’s shop is to blame. There are too many potential scenarios to list; and, in many situations, multiple parties will share in the responsibility for a vehicle passenger’s injuries.
Passenger Compensation in Auto Accidents: Getting the Insurance Companies to Pay
As a passenger seeking compensation, one of the most challenging issues that you may face is getting the insurance companies to pay. Almost all auto accident compensation claims are resolved through insurance (which means that you don’t have to worry “suing” your friend or co-worker), but the insurance companies rarely pay liability claims without a fight.
Passengers often face particular challenges in multi-vehicle collisions where each driver’s insurance company expects the other driver’s insurer to pay. For example, if both insurance companies think that their insured driver was less than 50 percent at-fault, it may be difficult to secure a settlement that covers 100 percent of your losses. In this type of scenario, as a passenger, you may need to go to court in order to fully protect your legal rights.
Demand More™ for Your Injuries – Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers Today
At Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers, our team regularly represents passengers in auto accident claims throughout the Palm Beach County area. We have extensive experience establishing liability for auto accidents, and we are intimately familiar with the complex insurance issues involved in passenger claims. For a free consultation, send a message online or call me, Brian D. Guralnick, personally at (561) 983-4395 today.