As the passenger of a motor vehicle that has been involved in a car accident, you have rights. In fact, it is generally an easier case to settle when you've been injured as a passenger as there is no chance you are liable for the accident. You have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who was at fault if the accident happened in an at fault state. You will file against both drivers if both parties are found partially at fault. You must be able to prove your injuries were a result of the negligence of one of the drivers and provide proof of the injuries.
When the Accident Includes Two Cars and Two Drivers
As a passenger who is injured, you will need to obtain the insurance information for both drivers and contact each insurance company about filing a passenger claim. If one driver is clearly at fault, as determined by the police who respond to the accident, it is safe to file the claim only with the insurance company of the driver who has been found at fault. If your injuries are extensive and you aren't expected to recover fully, it's time to talk with an auto accident attorney to discuss the merits of your case.
If the Accident is in a No Fault State
In some states, it doesn't matter who is at fault for the accident. In fact, in twelve states and Washington, D.C., passengers who are injured file a claim with the insurance company of both drivers and receives compensation for medical bills and lost wages. The problem is, if there are several injured passengers, each one can end up with very little money in compensation. In no-fault states, the theory is that drivers will have enough insurance to protect their own needs if they are injured in a car accident and additional coverage for any passengers. Your ability to seek compensation is going to be limited.
Accidents in a Fault State
Car accidents in fault states handle personal injuries differently. If you are hurt as a passenger, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver. The extent of your injuries will matter, and you can file for pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment. In addition, you will be able to seek compensation for lost wages and medical bills. If you are hurt as a passenger, it's time to seek help from an attorney who understands personal injury law.