In many ways, it is easier to file a personal injury claim as a passenger than it is to seek compensation as a driver. When you’re the driver, there is always a question of liability (legal responsibility). If you partially caused the accident, this limits the amount of compensation you are eligible to receive. However, passengers are not legally liable for motor vehicle accidents and thus must only prove that the injuries they received were the result of the accident.
Who to File a Claim Against
A passenger involved in a car accident can file a claim against one driver or both drivers. One driver may be found solely liable or both drivers may be found partially liable. If both drivers are partially liable, each of their insurance policies will need to pay part of the claim.
If either driver was operating a vehicle that they do not personally own, it would also be possible to pursue a claim against the vehicle’s owner.
Accidents with Multiple Passengers
A personal injury case becomes more complex if the accident involves multiple passengers who are injured. If there are three or four people filing claims against the same negligent driver, there is a good chance that the value of the cases will exceed the driver’s insurance limits. If this happens, each person might end up having to settle for less than what his or her case would be worth because they’re all receiving compensation from the same limited settlement funds.
What Happens When Neither Driver Wants to Settle?
Another problem that sometimes occurs in personal injury cases involving passengers is when neither driver’s insurance wants to settle the claim because they disagree about the level of liability. For example, say an injured passenger has a claim worth about $200,000 for medical bills and lost wages. If the each driver’s insurer only admits 25% liability for the accident, the passenger would only receive $50,000 from each insured driver and end up with a total compensation of $100,000 unless he or she decided to go to trial.
Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
If you were a passenger in a motor vehicle accident that resulted in serious and/or long-term disabilities injuries, seeking the assistance of a qualified personal injury attorney is a must. The attorneys at Holzer Edwards are experienced in settling personal injury claims for both passengers and drivers. We have a team of attorneys that are dedicated to helping individuals and families receive the compensation they deserve. Please give us a call today at (208) 386-9119 or toll-free at (888) 490-0992 for a free consultation.