Legal

What are My Rights as an Injured Passenger in a Car Accident?

In an accident, it is easy for the driver to know their right especially when the other driver is at fault and has caused both bodily and car damage. In this case, the other driver’s insurance will be liable to cover all the damages suffered by the driver including the loss of wage and pain and suffering as well. Similarly, when a passenger is involved in an accident and suffers bodily injuries, they are entitled to benefit depending on several factors.

To answer this question, this article which has been prepared by trusted personal injury lawyers in Florida will provide all the information needed to figure out what to do and who covers all the costs.

Personal Injury Claim

This is a legal case opened by a person injured in an accident caused by someone else. The fault can either be that of the driver in whose car you sustained the injuries or a third-party driver that hit the car you were in. If the injury resulted in physical and financial suffering, the driver at fault is responsible for covering all the costs arising from the accident. This is usually covered under the Personal Injury Protection cover by a driver.

A passenger is free to seek compensation in case there exist these 3 elements in the accident.

  • Injury – The passenger must exhibit evident injuries in the body which were sustained from the accident.
  • Breach of duty of care – This is usually the person who is at fault for causing the accident. This can be a driver responsible for failing to avoid an accident.
  • Causant – This is the evidence that one of the drivers or both are at fault for causing the accident.

When filing for a passenger injury claim, the passenger is usually seen to be faultless as their actions can not contribute to the negligence of the driver unless when the passenger provoked the driver to the accident. The Passenger has several ways to be covered for any damages they might have suffered as a result of the accident. These include;

Claim Against Your Driver’s Insurance

As a passenger, you are entitled to receive compensation from the driver in whose car you sustained your injuries. This is usually because the law mandates the driver of the car to be careful not to cause injuries to their passengers. This is referred to as a duty of care. This is breached especially in a single-car accident through the negligence of the driver such as; overspeeding, drunk driving, or losing control of the vehicle.

Your driver will be liable for all the costs required as a result of the accident.

Claim Against the Other Driver

This is when the passenger sustains injuries from an accident involving more than one car. In this scenario, the passenger is guaranteed to be covered by one or more of the insurance covers of the vehicle/s at fault. 

In the case where all the drivers were partially at fault, the passenger may sue both of them and receive compensation from both policies. This too can apply if the injuries in question are severe and the costs exceed what one driver is covered for which allows the passenger to claim the personal injury as well.

Passenger Responsibility

As noted earlier, the passenger can also be at fault for causing an accident. Though not directly, the passenger can attack the driver or even encourage the driver’s recklessness which leads to an accident. The passenger can also be held liable in case they willingly entered the car knowing well that the driver was not in the best state to drive. This usually reduces the amount of compensation recovered to the extent to which the court decides.

Costs Covered for the Passenger

When a claim is opened by a passenger, the policy will cover all the costs of the injuries resulting from the accident. These include; 

  • Hospital costs – This includes all the costs of hospitalization from admission, to tests and medication offered. This also includes all the medical devices that may be assigned to the passenger, such as crutches or a wheelchair.
  • Loss of Wages – This is usually paid when the passenger lost some income because of the inability to work which was caused by the accident.
  • Ambulance fees – This covers the cost of transportation to the hospital from the scene of the accident.
  • Therapy Bills – In case the passenger requires further therapies like massage or physio, the policy will cover that as well.
  • Pain and Suffering – Depending on your lawyer, you could file for compensation for all the pain and suffering you experienced from the accident.

To fully enjoy these benefits, you should find a personal injury lawyer that will help in the mobilization of unbiased evidence and also witnesses to help in the case. Ensuring that the accident is reported and all the injuries sustained from the accident are well noted will help in smoothening your settlement case.

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