Passenger Rights After a Car Crash – What You Need to Know
July 18, 2022
When talking about car crashes and seeking compensation for injuries, the focus is often on the drivers. However, passengers may also suffer severe injuries in a collision. These injuries could result in significant medical costs, lost wages and other damages. Do these crash victims have any rights?
At Bernstein and Poisson, we understand why passengers who become crash victims may be confused about what to do next. Below, we discuss your rights as a passenger injured in a crash and whether you may be able to recover compensation for your damages.
Our dedicated attorneys are ready to help passengers injured by the negligence of another driver. We have a proven history of getting results for our clients, recovering millions on their behalf. Contact our trusted law firm today to learn more.
Why Passengers Should Not Delay Seeking Medical Care
If you were a passenger in a vehicle that was involved in a crash, you should be sure to get medical help without delay. Seeking emergency medical care and following up on your treatments helps to protect your health. Even minor accidents can cause injuries, some of which may not show up for days or even weeks.
For instance, if you hit your head during the collision and suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Getting examined right away helps you to get the medical treatment you need sooner. This step often makes a significant difference in how well injured victims heal.
Seeking medical care also helps if you need to file a claim to recover your damages. The documentation in your medical records helps to link your injuries to the crash.
What Rights Do Passengers Have After a Crash?
After a crash that causes injuries, passengers have a right to seek medical care and have their damages paid for by the liable party. However, there is a legal process for seeking compensation as a passenger, which includes determining who caused the crash.
Determining Liability for the Crash
Even though you were a passenger, you must be able to prove that another’s negligence caused the crash and your injuries. If an attorney represents you, he or she will work to establish who was at fault and how his or her negligence contributed to the crash.
Your attorney may gather evidence showing:
- The driver of the car you were riding in caused the crash
- Someone driving the other car is liable for the accident and your injuries
- Both drivers share a portion of liability
Negligence involves a duty of care that was breached. Drivers owe others on the road, including passengers, a duty to prevent causing any harm. Some drivers violate their duty by ignoring traffic laws or engaging in reckless driving behavior. If this violation causes a crash and your injuries, you may have a claim.
What if You Were Riding in the Car of the At-Fault Driver?
It could feel awkward seeking compensation if the at-fault party was driving you, especially if this person is a family member or friend. However, it is important to remember that you are filing a claim against his or her insurance policy. The claim is not against your friend or family member personally.
Seeking Compensation if the Other Driver Caused the Crash
If the other driver in the collision is found to be liable, you can seek compensation against his or her insurance. This legal process takes time, however there are steps you can take to help support your claim, even while you focus on your health.
- Avoid social media during your claim
- Document your injuries and recovery progress
- Get a copy of the police report and check it for any errors
- Take photos of the crash scene and vehicle damages
- Get contact details of witnesses to the crash
- Protect your credibility by being completely honest about the crash and your injuries
- Do not delay seeking legal help
Could Passengers Have a Claim Against Multiple Drivers?
It is sometimes possible that both parties share some liability for a crash. In this situation, you may be able to seek compensation from both drivers. That said, regardless of how many at-fault drivers there are, you cannot recover more than the total value of your damages.
Having an attorney representing you helps to ensure that your interests are being fought for. At Bernstein and Poisson, we know getting the full compensation you need means properly calculating the value of your claim. However, it is impossible to know the how much your claim is worth until you first reach your maximum medical improvement (MMI) point.
Unfortunately, insurance companies will often attempt to talk an injured victim into accepting a quick settlement offer. This can leave victims paying for thousands of dollars in damages on their own.
What Damages Can You Recover as a Passenger?
Once your attorney establishes driver liability, you may be eligible to recover various damages, such as:
- Medical expenses you incurred, including the ambulance costs
- Compensation for lost wages
- Rehabilitation costs
- Reimbursement for traveling to and from doctor appointments
- Mobility assistive devices, such as a wheelchair or prosthetic
- Home modifications if you have long-term disabilities following the crash
- Pain and suffering damages
- And more
If you have an attorney, he or she will investigate the incident, gather supportive evidence and build a strong claim.
What Type of Driver Negligence Often Leads to a Crash?
Drivers are negligent when they commit traffic violations, engage in aggressive driving behaviors or commit an error. Common types of driver negligence that may lead to a crash includes:
- Running a red light
- Driving while distracted, such as by texting, eating, or grooming
- Impaired driving, such as being drowsy, drunk or under the influence of other substances
- Making illegal turns
- Improper use of a turn signal
- Engaging in aggressive or reckless driving behavior
- Road rage
Contact Our Firm to Discuss Your Situation Today
Car crashes often lead to a lot of confusion, both for the drivers involved and any passengers they were carrying.
Regardless of whether you were the driver or passenger injured by a negligent party, you may be eligible to recover compensation.
Contact our trusted law firm today to discuss your situation with a knowledgeable auto accident lawyer in Las Vegas. There is no cost or risk for this meeting, and if we represent you, there is also nothing to pay up front or while we manage your case. Our firm does not get paid unless we win compensation for you, either through a settlement or jury-awarded verdict.
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“After being in an accident my friend told me to call Bernstein and Poisson. A lawyer named Brian came to my home to meet with me and started my claim immediately. The legal team was extremely efficient, responded back to me quickly, listened to my concerns, and handled everything with speed and accuracy. Every step of the way was communicated. I received my settlement in 10 months’ time. I highly recommend using Berstein and Poisson. Thank you for helping get my life back on track.”