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Passenger Rights in a California Car Accident

Know Your Rights as a Passenger in a California Car Accident

When you hear “car accident,” most people think about two vehicles and the drivers arguing over who was at fault.  But while most people think about the drivers in a car accident, most often it is the passenger that suffers fatal or catastrophic injuries in a vehicle wreck. The passenger is, after all, just a participant in the crash and cannot control the vehicle.  The question that often comes into play when a passenger is injured in a motor vehicle accident is, who is liable for the injuries and damages sustained by the passenger? Regardless of who is at fault, passengers who are victims have the right to file a claim for their injuries sustained. However, most individuals do not know what their rights are under California law.  Thus, they must understand passenger rights.

This is because, sometimes the car accident is the fault of the driver who was driving the passenger at the time of the accident, while other times it was another motor vehicle driver who caused the accident. Whether it is the fault of the driver in the car you were riding in or the fault of another motor vehicle driver, you can file a claim against the at-fault driver.  In either situation, it is common for both insurance companies for the vehicle the passenger was riding in and any other vehicle involved in the crash to blame each other for the passenger’s injuries.

As a result, this can be confusing for an injured passenger.  Insurance adjusters often do this intentionally to create a complex matrix of liability.  Do not let them defeat your passenger car accident claim by obscuring liability.  Learn how the Broadway Law Firm and our experienced Southern California car accident attorney can help protect your rights to compensation.  We offer FREE consultations and do not get paid unless you get paid in a settlement or court verdict.  

Concerns with Liability 

Injured passengers have the right to file a claim if they were injured in an accident due to another individual’s reckless driving, including if they were in the car that caused the accident. However, this is not always the case as there are a few exceptions. If the at-fault driver is someone you are related to (i.e. spouse, mother, father, etc.) and you live with that person, you may not be able to make a liability claim as you are considered an insured person under their policy. 

Additionally, if you in some way contributed to causing the accident or injury, the amount of recovery compensation may be reduced. One example of this is knowingly getting in a car with a drunk driver. If your case involves an uninsured driver or if no fault has been determined, then a policy rider known as the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) can cover the losses you sustained. In this type of situation, it may be more difficult to obtain compensation for your losses as your insurance company may not want to pay, even leading them to potentially side with the at-fault driver to avoid payment. 

Situations like this greatly require an experienced and knowledgeable California attorney who can navigate this for you to provide you with the best chance to gain as much compensation for your injuries as possible. 

Compensation That May be Obtained for Injuries Sustained

If you or your loved one was a passenger in a motor vehicle accident and sustained injuries, you may be eligible for compensation. The intent of compensation is to provide you with funds to cover any injuries that may have been sustained. Examples of indicated compensation include the following:

  • Future emotional pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Past and current emotional pain and suffering
  • Lost future wages
  • Rehabilitation coverage
  • Medical bills
  • Loss of consortium
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Past, current, and future physical pain and suffering
  • Assistive device coverage (i.e. walkers, wheelchairs, etc.).

Were You Injured as a Passenger in Another Motorist’s Vehicle?  We Can Help

Learn how our experienced car accident lawyers at the Broadway Law Firm in Los Angeles, California can help passengers recover the compensation that they deserve.  We have fought some of the largest insurance companies and defense law firms in the United States, including for passenger rights after car accidents. Our skilled team will work with your treating physicians to recover the compensation that you need for your past, present, and future injuries.  Our knowledgeable lawyers will also work with some of the leading liability experts in California and sometimes the United States to help demonstrate liability against a defendant in a car.

Together, we will get through this and help recover what you need to reimburse your losses, compensate you for pain and suffering, and try to make you whole again.  Learn more during a FREE consultation by dialing (888) 824-1025.

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