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Car Passenger Injury Lawyer

Law firms often talk about car crashes in terms of seeking compensation for drivers. If you are a passenger and get injured in a crash, however, do you know what your legal rights are? Can you seek compensation for your injuries and other losses? What if the at-fault driver is a friend or family member?

At Justice Injury Law, we understand the concerns passengers may have about how to handle their injuries and other losses. Below, our knowledgeable Louisville car accident lawyers talk about what rights passengers have after a crash, including how you may be able to seek compensation for your damages in an injury claim.

Not sure if you have a case? Most passengers have a lot of questions after being injured in a crash. We are here to help you, and you can get answers to your legal questions in a free initial consultation.

Our law firm has built a reputation for being hard negotiators. We have a proven history of success, recovering millions in compensation for our clients, and we are prepared to recover the maximum possible compensation for you.

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Who Can Be Liable for the Damage of a Passenger in a Car Crash?

Depending on the type of crash, number of vehicles involved and other factors, multiple parties could be liable, including:

The Driver of the Car You Were Riding in

If the person driving you was a friend or family member, you may feel it would be disloyal to file an injury claim or insurance lawsuit against them. The fact is, you are not suing your friend or family member, you are filing a claim against their insurance company. The purpose of an insurance policy is to protect the policyholder so they do not have to pay out of pocket for the damages.

The Other Driver or Drivers Involved in the Crash

If the other driver is at-fault for the crash, then you would pursue your claim or lawsuit against that party’s auto insurance policy. Crash scene investigators will determine who is responsible for your damages. Sometimes, multiple parties may share liability. This is where claims can get complicated. However, if you are working with a knowledgeable attorney, he or she can handle these things on your behalf.

Owner of the Vehicle You Were Riding In

Sometimes, the owner of the vehicle is different from the person who was driving you. For instance, if one person owns the vehicle, but two people, such as a husband and a wife, are both insured on the policy for that vehicle. If the vehicle owner did not properly maintain the vehicle, such as repairing faulty brakes or replacing a worn-out tire, he or she could share liability for the crash if that failure contributed to the crash. There may be other liable parties as well. However, this is something that your attorney can investigate on your behalf. For instance, if poor road design or a defective vehicle contributed to or caused your crash.

Can Passengers Be Liable for a Crash?

While possible, it is highly unlikely that a passenger could be assessed with any fault for a crash. A passenger could, however, be held partially or fully liable for a crash if he or she did any of the following:
  • Covered the eyes of the driver while the car is in motion
  • Throwing objects or other things at the driver
  • Pressing down on the driver’s foot while it is on the accelerator
  • Grabbing the steering wheel and forcibly turning it
  • Inciting a person to drive unsafely, such as by encouraging them to speed, especially if the driver is young
  • Harassing or intimidating a young person into driving while under the influence
Passengers owe a legal duty of care to others, just like drivers do. That duty includes avoiding doing anything that could foreseeably have the potential to cause another person harm.

Why Passengers Should Seek Immediate Medical Care After a Crash

The most important thing you can do after a crash is to seek medical care right away. If you fail to do this, you could be putting your health at risk. Not all injuries are visible. You may not see any open wounds, and you may not even be aware of any pain. But internal injuries are often not visible, such as:
  • Internal organ damage
  • Some types of fractures
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Broken ribs
  • Internal bleeding
  • Retinal detachment

Seeking Medical Care Right Away Protects Your Claim

In addition to protecting your health, seeking medical attention right away also supports and protects your injury claim. This is because your visit will be documented by the treating physician. Your medical records will include the date of your visit, the type of injuries you sustained, any long-term diagnosis, such as additional treatment you may need and more. This documentation plays a vital role in linking your injuries to the crash. Waiting to get a medical examination gives the insurance company room to argue that your injuries could have happened elsewhere.

What if Your Friend or Family Member Was the At-Fault Driver?

If you were riding in the car with a friend or family member, and they were deemed liable for the crash, you may feel uncomfortable pursuing a claim against them. It may feel disloyal or you may worry that it could cost them money. However, insurance was designed to protect policyholders from situations just like this one. You are pursuing compensation for damages from the insurance company, not your friend or family member.

Could Passengers Have a Claim Against Multiple Drivers?

If both parties contributed to the crash in some way, then both drivers may share liability. If this occurs, it may be possible to seek compensation from both drivers. No matter how many at-fault drivers there are, however, you cannot recover more than the total value of the damages you incurred.

What Damages Can You Recover as a Passenger?

After liability has been determined, you may be eligible to recover compensation for various damages, such as:
  • Medical costs, including for emergency transportation
  • Compensation for lost wages
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Reimbursement for traveling to and from doctor appointments
  • Mobility assistive devices, such as a wheelchair or prosthetic
  • Home modifications if you have long-term or permanent disabilities after the crash
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • And more

If an attorney is managing your case, he or she will investigate the incident, gather supportive evidence and build a strong claim on your behalf.

Injured as a Passenger in a Crash? Call Our Firm for Legal Help Today

Whether you are the driver or a passenger in a collision, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out how to file a claim for damages. This is especially true if you are still healing from your injuries.

At Justice Injury Law, we manage car crash cases every day. We have extensive knowledge of the law, and we are prepared to fight hard to get the compensation you deserve.

Contact our trusted law firm today to discuss your situation with a knowledgeable member at our Louisville law firm. Your initial consultation is free. If you choose to hire our firm, there are no upfront costs to pay.

We only get paid if you do. 502-584-5455

Do Passengers Have Legal Rights After a Louisville Crash?

Passengers do have legal rights after a car crash, just as the driver of any vehicle involved in the crash does. If you were injured in a vehicle that was involved in a crash, you have a right to seek treatment for your injuries. Passengers also have a right to seek compensation for the costs of that treatment and other damages resulting from the crash.

Who Pays for My Medical Costs If I Was Injured as a Passenger in a Car Crash?

Kentucky is a choice no-fault state, which means you do not have to prove fault to get coverage. If you were the driver, your first avenue for getting your medical costs would be through your own policy. However, as a passenger, you would file a claim against the personal injury protection (PIP) insurance of the driver’s policy.

All drivers in the state must carry this insurance, which provides the following coverage:

  • Reasonable and necessary medical costs related to the crash
  • A percentage of your lost wages if you missed work while healing
  • Other out-of-pocket expenses related to the crash and your injuries

Unfortunately, PIP insurance is often not enough to fully cover medical costs, especially if the driver only carries the minimum coverage of $10,000. To recover additional damages, you may need to file a car crash lawsuit against the at-fault party. Before that can happen, fault for the crash must be assessed to determine liability.

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I highly recommend if you need legal counsel to put your trust in Justice Law Office. You won't be disappointed!

I highly recommend if you need legal counsel to put your trust in Justice Law Office. You won’t be disappointed!

Leanne B.

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