In most cases, when car accident personal injury cases are discussed, most of the focus is on the driver. While this is understandable, it is also true that passengers are just as likely to be injured as the driver is. What happens when a passenger suffers from serious injuries in a car accident? Do they have the right to sue? And if they do, then who do they sue? Keep reading to get the answers to these and other questions, and then contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 if you are in need of a free legal consultation.
Passengers Have the Same Rights as Drivers to Sue At-Fault Parties
The first thing to know is that if you are injured in a car accident in which you are a passenger in a vehicle, you have the same rights as the driver does to file a lawsuit. In fact, you may even have rights that the driver does not have. If you are a passenger and the driver of another vehicle is at fault then you can recover damages from them.
However, you also have the legal ability to recover damages if the at-fault party was the one driving the vehicle you were in. In the event that both drivers were partially at fault, you may be able to hold both accountable and recover damages from both drivers.
Passengers Are Never at Fault
One important thing to keep in mind as you consider your options is the fact that you are never at fault as the passenger. For example, let’s say you were talking to the driver and the driver was looking at you instead of the road. If they then hit another car, this is their fault for keeping their eyes on you and not the road – not your fault.
This is important to know because California is a comparative negligence state. This means that even if you were partially at fault, you would still be able to recover damages, they would just be reduced by the percentage of fault you were determined to have. However, because you cannot be at fault if you were just the passenger, your damages will be not be reduced due to your negligence.
There Are Situations in Which You May Not Get Full Compensation
While you cannot be found negligent, you can end up with reduced compensation. This is known as comparative fault, and it involves taking a risk that you knew was likely to lead to an injury. For example, if you got into a vehicle with someone when you knew they were drunk, then your compensation may be reduced because the law says you should have known you were putting yourself at risk.
The best way to get the most compensation is to ensure that you are working with an experienced personal injury attorney. You can reach The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 now for your free legal consultation.