What are My Rights as a Passenger in a Car That Is In An Accident?

No one plans on being involved in an accident. They typically occur without warning and the results can be devastating. The majority of car accidents are fairly easy to resolve, but some can be more problematic and require the filing of a lawsuit. If you have been hurt in an accident while riding as a passenger in a car, you may be concerned about what rights you have. Below is an overview of how you can obtain compensation for your injuries.

If you are injured while riding with another driver, you have an easier time with your personal injury claim in most cases. This is because you will not be required to prove who was at fault because one of the drivers will be assigned liability. You may be able to seek compensation for your injuries in both single car accidents and multi-car accidents. The first issue that the insurance companies will attempt to resolve is which party is at fault for the accident. They launch an investigation to make this determination that consists of the review of police reports, obtaining statements from the parties involved in the accident and talking to witnesses who observed the accident.

How to File a Claim against the Driver’s Insurance Company
If the driver who was driving the vehicle that the passenger was in is determined to be at fault, the passenger has the legal right to file the claim against the driver’s insurance policy. This allows the passenger to receive financial compensation for the injuries that he or she incurred in the accident. Liability coverage typically provides for the medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering up to a certain limit per person and per accident. Special rules apply If the passenger is related to the driver. The insurance policy may not cover injured persons that are related to the driver because the claim would in essence be covering its own insured driver. An insured driver cannot usually file a liability claim against his or her own liability coverage

How to File a Claim against the other Driver’s Insurance Company
If the other driver is found at fault, the passenger can pursue a claim against the other driver’s insurance coverage. Even if the other driver was less at fault than the driver with whom the passenger was traveling, he or she still has the right to collect compensation from the other driver because that driver shared in liability. However, the maximum amount of compensation that the passenger can receive is no more than the total value of the claim. Therefore, the passenger cannot collectively receive $60,000 of damages from the two insurance companies if the actual amount of damages was $40,000. However, if one driver did not have enough coverage to cover the entire amount of damages that the passenger incurred, the passenger can make up the amount of damages against the other driver.

How to File a Claim Against Your Own Insurance Company
If you have auto insurance, you can file a claim for PIP benefits, but you must get medical treatment within 14 days after the accident. This type of coverage is not based on liability so it does not require the passenger to be at fault in any way. Pain and suffering is not usually included in this portion of the coverage. It also does not usually cover lost income or other expenses that are not related to the medical expenses incurred. A passenger who uses his or her own coverage should learn about the rules and processes related to this procedure. Normally, if a person collects under this portion of his or her own coverage and then later receives compensation from the driver’s insurance, the amount already received may be deducted from the liability settlement.

If you suffered injuries in a car accident as a passenger, you have as much right as a driver to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost earnings, and other accident-related expenses. Florida law entitles you to pursue an injury claim, but you must meet specific legal requirements before you can receive reimbursement. To ensure that you get the compensation you deserve, let the personal injury attorneys at Suarez & Montero review the circumstances of your case and discuss your legal options. Our attorneys are ready to provide proven legal representation in pursuing your claim and stand ready to protect your rights.

Contact us today at 786 Lawyers for a free consultation!

Jaime Suarez

An experienced legal personal injury defense professional in Miami, who is dedicated to helping accident victims with personal injury cases involving automobile accidents, brain and spinal cord injuries, slip and fall accidents, prescription errors, wrongful death, and accidents at work.