What rights do I have as a passenger in a vehicle involved in a car accident?
If you were the passenger in a vehicle involved in an accident, no matter who was at fault, you do have a claim for your injuries. This is generally true, even if the at-fault driver is a family member or if they have no insurance. The at-fault driver is responsible for the damages that you have incurred due to the accident. It is important that you follow our post-accident procedures as noted in our “What should I do if I have been involved in a car accident?” article, to be sure to make the most of your claim. Do not give a recorded statement to the insurance company! It will only be used against you.
If the driver of the vehicle that you are in was listed as the at-fault driver, then you usually still have a claim depending on the circumstances that caused the accident. Unless you personally caused or contributed to the collision, you will likely have a valid claim. However, it is important to lock in the evidence and speak with witnesses early after your accident, so don’t delay hiring your Greenville, South Carolina car accident attorney.
Passenger Duties / Rights
Generally speaking, you can sue the driver if you were the passenger in a car accident, with a few exceptions. The passenger can only be denied a valid claim to compensation for damages if he or she knew about circumstances preventing the driver from being fit to drive, such as voluntarily getting in the car with an intoxicated driver. There are other scenarios where the passenger may share some responsibility for their injuries, but they do not always bar a claim. These may include:
- Distracted driving/texting
- Reckless driving
- Drowsy driving
- Failure to announce a foreseeable hazard
While a passenger may share some moral responsibility for the accident, or be deemed to have assumed the risk of driving with an impaired or reckless driver, the at-fault driver ultimately bears responsibility for the collision and injuries caused by their negligence. Usually the at-fault driver’s insurer has the duty to compensate for damages that were incurred due to their negligence. An injured passenger has the right to recover damages for medical treatment, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other economic and non-economic damages stemming from the collision.
If you were involved in an accident where you sustained injuries as the passenger of the vehicle, then call the Greenville, South Carolina accident attorneys at Hammack Law Firm today. We have experience handling these cases, and we can help you get the full compensation that you deserve! Don’t wait. Call us today at 864-326-3333 for your free consultation!
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