Can I Sue the Driver If I was the Passenger in a Car Accident?

April 22, 2024 – Paul Hammack

South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers | Hammack Law Firm | Call 864-326-3333

You can sue the driver if you were the passenger in a car accident. However, you will have to prove that the driver caused—or at least contributed substantially to—your accident.

Most cases are settled through insurance claims, per the American Bar Association (ABA). You will likely be able to settle your case through negotiations, but if not, you could sue another party for your damages.

You Can Sue the Driver or Another Party Responsible for Your Car Accident

Car accidents happen for many reasons, not all of which are the driver’s fault. Consider the following examples:

  • Another car executed an illegal move, and the driver of your vehicle did not have time to respond.
  • The vehicle you were in malfunctioned at an inopportune moment (e.g., a tire blew out).
  • A pedestrian or an animal unexpectedly darted into the roadway right in front of the car.

In such cases, you could sue another driver, an automobile manufacturer, or a maintenance contractor rather than the person who was driving your vehicle. Identifying the at-fault party is only part of the task; you also have to provide evidence to support your claim. Anderson car accident lawyers can offer valuable guidance and help you build a convincing case against the responsible party.

When the Driver May be to Blame

With that said, there are many cases where you can sue the driver. These include cases involving:

  • Texting and driving: S.C. Ann § 56-5-3890 makes texting and driving illegal.
  • Other distractions: If your driver was paying more attention to a car gadget (e.g., the radio) or anything else besides the road, their inattention may have contributed to the crash.
  • Drunk driving: Per the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (DPS), alcohol can negatively influence a driver’s judgment, even if their blood alcohol concentration is within legal limits.
  • Reckless behavior: Some drivers do not respect the rules of the road. They may ignore speed limits, rush through stop signs, or refuse to yield the right of way to others.

Our law firm can help you determine for sure who you should sue. We can investigate all aspects of your case and figure out who is liable.

You Can Pursue Multiple Damages in Your Car Accident Case

If your accident affected you physically and emotionally, you may qualify for non-economic damages like:

  • Emotional distress: Car accidents can be traumatic events, and the physical strain of injuries can cause or worsen mental illness.
  • Disability: Some injuries result in permanent damage to the body or the mind.
  • Loss of quality of life: In cases where injuries are permanent (e.g., chronic pain), the victim may have to give up their favorite activities or get help with daily tasks.

If your accident affected you financially, you may qualify for economic damages like:

  • Medical costs: Treating accident injuries can be expensive, especially if those injuries are permanent and require a lifetime of care.
  • Lost income: Being injured can make it difficult, if not possible, for accident victims to go to work and perform their usual duties.
  • Lost earning capacity: A permanent injury can derail a person’s career, forcing them to retire or go through the expense and inconvenience of retraining.

Dealing with Insurance Companies

When you receive compensation, who pays? If you recover damages from the driver, your compensation will probably be paid out by the driver’s insurance company. Unfortunately, some drivers do not fulfill their legal duty to purchase car insurance. Others may have a policy that does not cover your needs.

Per the South Carolina Department of Insurance (DOI), collisions with uninsured or underinsured drivers may involve:

  • Uninsured motorist coverage: Everyone is required to have this type of coverage. If you have car insurance, then you likely have uninsured motorist coverage.
  • Underinsured motorist coverage: This is NOT included in your regular car insurance policy. You must buy it separately.

A lawyer from our firm can help you seek compensation, regardless of the liable party’s insurance policy or lack thereof.

Our Legal Team will Help You Build Your Car Accident Case

Our law firm can help you with every aspect of your case, including:

  • Providing you with a free case review
  • Collecting corroborating evidence
  • Telling you how much money your case is worth
  • Identifying the liable party
  • Notifying the liable party about your lawsuit
  • Negotiating a fair settlement
  • Representing you in the courtroom
  • Providing guidance whenever you need it

We will even work for a contingency fee so that you do not have to pay us any attorney’s fees until you get your money.

Get a Free Case Review Today

Hammack Law Firm’s mission is to make South Carolina a safer place. We work closely with people like you to hold negligent parties responsible for their accidents.

If you were the passenger in a car accident, you can sue the at-fault driver, and we can help you do it. Call our law firm at (864) 326-3333(864) 326-3333 and find out why our clients leave us such positive Google reviews.

Questions or Schedule An Appointment? Call Us:

(864) 326-3333

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