Most people understand that if they get into a car accident as a driver, their own auto insurance may help cover some of their costs, and they may also have the option of seeking compensation from an at-fault party, such as the other driver.
However, as the passenger in a car involved in an accident, who pays you and how much money you can get may not seem as clear or obvious. In this blog post, we explore your rights as a passenger in a car accident, and how lawyers calculate the money you may have the right to receive for your injuries and losses.
Exploring Who Owes Damages to Passengers in Car Accidents
Generally speaking, anyone whose unreasonably dangerous decisions or actions cause a car accident that injures someone else will owe damages to the person injured. Lawyers call this liability, and it forms the basis of the vast majority of car accident claims.
Passengers in vehicles rarely have liability for causing a crash; we’re not saying it can’t happen, but it is extremely uncommon. So, when a passenger suffers injuries in a preventable car accident, that someone else will usually owe damages to the passenger.
Who might owe damages? It varies from crash to crash.
In a typical car accident, experienced lawyers who represent injured passengers will often explore whether the unreasonably dangerous decisions or actions of any of the following parties may have caused the crash:
- The driver of the car the passenger was riding in, if that driver made mistakes behind the wheel that caused the crash;
- The driver of another vehicle in a crash involving two or more cars, if that driver’s errors caused the accident;
- The employer of any at-fault driver who causes an accident while driving a work vehicle;
- The manufacturer of any vehicle involved in the crash, if the failure of a defective vehicle part (such as a tire or brake line) caused the accident; and
- The local government agency responsible for building and maintaining safe roads, of a preventable, dangerous road condition contributed to the cause of the accident.
These are just some examples of the parties who could have a legal liability to a passenger injured in a car accident. To find out who may owe you damages for injuries you suffered as a passenger, contact an experienced lawyer today for a free consultation.
Car Accident Passengers and Insurance Coverage
All states require drivers to carry liability insurance, which covers them if they cause an accident that injures someone.
In addition, in Nevada, people can purchase optional MedPay insurance, which is similar to other states’ personal injury protection insurance. MedPay can cover medical expenses without regard for who caused the accident, providing you with an extra source of financial protection. Call a car accident lawyer if you purchased MedPay and need help accessing those benefits.
To figure out which insurance policies might cover you for the injuries you suffered as a passenger in a car accident, turn to an experienced car accident injury lawyer for help.
The Amount of Money You Might Get
Passengers injured in car accidents understandably want to know how much money they can get to help them pay for their injuries and losses. There is no single answer, however.
Damages for car accident injuries typically cover a wide range of expenses and losses, including medical and other costs related to the injury, lost wages and income from missing work or suffering a disabling injury, pain and suffering damages to compensate for the difficulty the injury caused in the victim’s life, and sometimes, punitive damages to punish the party at-fault for extremely reckless conduct.
The amount of money that falls into each of these categories depends mostly on the nature and extent of your injuries, and their impact on your life. The worse the injuries and the more widespread the impacts, the larger the amount of money a passenger might have the right to seek as compensation.
That does not mean, however, that you can always reasonably expect to receive the amount of money the law says you have a right to get.
Two principal factors determine how much money an injured passenger could hope to receive:
- The strength of your case. To secure compensation, your lawyer must prove someone else’s liability for your injuries and the amount of your damages. A case in which the evidence clearly proves liability and damages tends to have a better chance of a favorable outcome than a case based on weaker evidence.
The financial resources of the parties who owe you damages. You may have the legal right to receive damages, but that won’t do you much good if the party who owes them to you cannot pay. The more parties who your lawyer can prove have liability to you, and the larger their assets or higher their insurance policy limits, the better the odds of you recovering the full amount of your claim.
To give yourself the best possible chance of recovering as much as possible for your car accident claim after suffering injuries as a passenger, make sure your attorney has the know-how and resources to build the strongest possible case on your behalf. Contact a skilled, experienced car accident injury lawyer for a free, no-obligation case consultation.