You might know what to do if you are driving when a car accident occurs, but knowing what steps to take if you are a passenger in a car accident can be more complex. Keep reading to learn what your rights are, and then contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 if you require a free legal consultation.
Issues of Liability
If you are injured as a passenger in a vehicle, you have the right to recover compensation for your damages from the insurance carrier of the driver(s) at fault. This is true even if the at-fault driver was the one driving the car you are in. However, if you the sibling, spouse, or another relative who is insured under the same policy as the driver, then you might not be able to make a liability claim against your own policy. Your personal injury attorney will help you determine how this might apply to your case.
In the event that your behavior somehow caused or affected the crash or your injury, then your damages could be reduced. For example, if you knew that the driver was intoxicated and you got into the car anyway, then the court will likely hold that you take some responsibility for your own injury.
Your Own Car Insurance Policy Might Cover You
If you are injured in a case in which the at-fault driver does not have auto insurance, or does not have enough to cover your damages, then your auto insurance policy could cover your losses – but only if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This can be a tricky situation in which your own insurance company tries to defend the driver who was at-fault to avoid having to pay you. Again, this is when a personal injury attorney can fight for you.
How to Stay Safer as a Passenger
While The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker might be able to help you recover damages if you are injured in a car accident, the ideal situation is that you will not be injured in the first place. You do not have as much control over preventing accidents as you do when you are driving, since you cannot control speed, attention, etc.
However, you can make sure that you are not getting into the vehicle of someone who is intoxicated, you can change the radio station or make changes to the heat so that the driver can focus, and you can try to convince the driver not to check their emails or send texts while the vehicle is moving. Most importantly, make sure that you are wearing your seatbelt.
If you are injured as a passenger, we urge you to contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation. We can help you understand your rights in the particular situation you are in.