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Passenger Rights in a Car Accident

By: The Igwe Firm
January 29, 2019

Lehigh County car accident lawyers at The Igwe Firm help passengers injured in car accidentsWhen motor vehicle accidents occur, much is made of which driver is at fault. Passengers are just as likely to receive injuries – or die – in a motor vehicle accident as the driver, even though they are not responsible for the collision. Passengers are entitled to compensation for their injuries; but much depends on the circumstances of the crash.

In rare cases, a passenger is determined at fault for some percentage of the crash, specifically if their actions contributed to the accident. For example, a passenger who grabbed the steering wheel from the driver bears some responsibility for the resulting accident.

If it were to be determined that the passenger was 20 percent responsible for the collision, for example, any settlement amount would be reduced by that percentage.

Your Auto Insurance and Coverage

If you are injured in a car accident as a passenger, your auto insurance pays your medical expenses, up to coverage limits. However, if you do not have an auto insurance policy, it is the driver’s insurance company that will pay your medical expenses – again up to the driver’s coverage limit.

It does not matter who is eventually found at fault for the accident – the insurer of the vehicle’s owner in which you were injured foots the bill. If your auto insurance policy limits are insufficient to pay the bill, or that of the driver’s auto insurance policy if you do not have car insurance, you will then turn to your health insurance policy to pay the remainder of the medical expenses.

Not Suing A Friend

It is one thing if a person is injured as a passenger while using Lyft, Uber or similar rideshare services; or if they are in a vehicle with a driver they do not know well. Most injured people are not concerned about filing a claim against such drivers.

Passengers in most car accidents, however, are relatives or friends of the driver, and may feel uncomfortable suing such a person, especially if the driver was also injured, and/or the vehicle was wrecked.

Keep in mind that you are not suing the driver, per se, but filing a claim against their insurance company. It is the insurance company that provides compensation. Your friend or relative’s insurance premiums may go up as a result of the crash, but that would happen whether or not a passenger files a claim.

Filing a Claim Against the Other Driver

If the driver of the other vehicle is determined to be at fault, you may file a claim against their insurance company. If they were found negligent, you may file a claim for damages such as lost wages and pain and suffering.

Lehigh County Car Accident Lawyers at The Igwe Firm Help Passengers Injured in Car Accidents

If you or a loved one was injured as a passenger in a car accident, you need the services of the experienced Lehigh County car accident lawyers at The Igwe Firm. Call us today at 215-278-9898 or contact us online for a free initial consultation. We can help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. With our office located in Philadelphia, we represent clients in Philadelphia, Lehigh County and throughout Pennsylvania.

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