When you think of a car accident, you likely consider the impact it has on the drivers involved. However, passengers must also deal with the aftermath of a crash and could sustain serious injuries and other damages. If you were injured in a crash and someone else was driving, an experienced Texas passenger injury lawyer will help protect your rights so that other parties don’t take advantage of you.
The car accident lawyers at Begum Law Group Injury Lawyers understand what passengers need after a wreck. They will evaluate your situation and help you make the best decisions possible.
Call us at (866) 523-4167 to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help.
Anyone involved in a car accident has certain rights – even passengers. Some of the rights of a passenger in a car accident include the following:
Passengers of a car involved in a crash may obtain the same information as any driver. You can get names, addresses, vehicle registration numbers, driver’s license numbers, and insurance information for all drivers involved in the wreck.
If a driver refuses to give you this information, it can be found on the police or car accident reports.
You should immediately get emergency medical treatment if you were injured in the wreck. You can be transported to a hospital or trauma center via ambulance.
You should see a doctor even if you do not think you are seriously injured. Some injuries, such as whiplash, can appear days after the crash.
Additionally, your initial medical treatment report will serve as a baseline for the severity of your injuries and proof to the insurance companies that you were hurt.
You should always call 911 and report a car accident. If someone else doesn’t make that call, you should do so yourself. You have a right to request the police report so that you have the information of that accident on record.
It can take an officer up to a week to complete an incident report, which should be available online or through the police department.
Insurance companies may begin contacting you soon after a car accident. You have a right to avoid those communications until you can speak with a passenger injury lawyer. In fact, you should request that all communications go through your attorney.
Do not sign anything or make any agreements with the insurance company before getting legal advice.
You can speak with a passenger injury lawyer right after your crash. The best accident attorney for you will review the facts of your case and help you decide on a path forward. You should work with someone who has experience handling cases involving passengers who have been injured.
Do not use an attorney recommended by the insurance company. They usually work closely with the insurance company and are not concerned about your best interests.
*The outcome of any individual case depends on factors unique to that case. Past case results listed on this website do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any similar or future case.
In some car accidents, both drivers may be partially to blame for the accident. Those cases raise the question of how much each driver should be liable to the other for any injuries.
Texas uses a comparative negligence model to assign liability. Here’s an example that may be helpful:
Driver A gets in an accident with Driver B. Driver B ran a red light, but Driver A was texting while driving. Both drivers were negligent, and it is determined that Driver A’s negligence contributed 20% to the accident. As a result, any compensation awarded to Driver A will be reduced by 20%.
For passengers in a contributory negligence case, this is important because you would have to pursue claims against both Driver A and Driver B. Driver A would have to pay the portion of your claim that Driver B’s insurance didn’t cover.
You should also consider another obstacle related to comparative negligence: if Driver A was responsible for more than 51% of the accident, they cannot recover any compensation. While this may prevent Driver A from pursuing any claim, you, as the passenger, may still have to pursue both drivers.
It can be challenging to determine who is at fault in a car accident, especially when multiple vehicles are involved.
You may be reluctant to sue the driver of the vehicle you were in, especially if they are your friend. However, you should keep in mind that the situation is not personal. Their insurance company will be paying you the money that you deserve. If you have medical costs caused by someone else – even a friend – you should not be forced to pay for that yourself. Your attorney can help you decide how to proceed if the driver of the vehicle you were in is at fault.
A passenger can be partially at fault for a car accident. For example, if they somehow distracted the driver, the passenger may be to blame. If this is the case, you need to work closely with an attorney who can prove you are less than 51% at fault so that your comparative negligence allows you to recover compensation.
Car accidents with multiple injured passengers mean there may be multiple claims. If one driver was clearly at fault, multiple claims will be competing against their limited amount of insurance coverage. Depending on the severity of each passenger’s injuries, the coverage provided by the at-fault driver’s insurance can be quickly exhausted.
If there are multiple claims, it is therefore quite possible that you will not be able to receive compensation for your total claim. The situation becomes even more complicated if there are multiple injured passengers and both drivers were at fault in the accident.
Whether the at-fault driver is a friend or family member, the insurance company will still cover the injuries of any passengers involved in the crash.
If you are on the same insurance policy, your injuries will be covered as well. For example, if your spouse or parent was driving and they were at fault for the crash, you can get compensation from the insurance company for your damages in the same way anyone else can.
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Another right you have as a passenger in a car accident claim is the right to pursue compensation for your losses. That means that you can seek money for any damages you have sustained as a result of the negligence of the at-fault drivers.
If you file a car accident claim lawsuit, you can get compensation for:
If you opt for an insurance settlement instead of going to court, you can still get money to cover your losses. However, they will not be allocated to your individual damages. Instead, the insurance company will pay you a lump sum amount that will satisfy your total settlement.
If your loved one died as a passenger in a car accident, you may have a valid wrongful death claim. A passenger injury attorney can help you determine if you are eligible for compensation.