The majority of car accident claims are filed by drivers that are involved and injured in the wreck. However, a passenger filing a claim is not uncommon if a driver’s negligence or distraction caused their injuries. However, many people do not realize they can take legal action as a passenger if they were involved in a car accident. While you may feel uncomfortable at the very thought of filing a lawsuit in an accident that was caused by your family member or friend, it is important to remember it is their insurance company that will have to pay.
At Wormington & Bollinger, we strive to provide our clients with all the information they need to better understand their options. If you were a passenger in a car accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit and recover damages. Being a passenger in a car accident can be both confusing and overwhelming. You undoubtedly want to make sure you and everyone else involved are safe and uninjured before anything else, but what’s next? When the accident isn’t your fault, and you were injured, you may be able to file a lawsuit to help pay your medical bills and recover compensation for lost wages. To learn more about your rights as a passenger in a car accident, contact Wormington & Bollinger today.
Understanding Your Rights as a Passenger
As a passenger in a car accident, you must be able to prove that someone else was at-fault to file a personal injury claim. If the person operating the at-fault vehicle was driving under the influence, distracted, speeding, or otherwise acted negligently, you have a right to recover damages. This is especially true if the accident resulted in serious injuries and caused you to miss work. However, unlike cases that just involve the drivers of the vehicles, passengers have more options.
If you were a passenger in a car that was in an accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the following parties:
- The person operating the other vehicle
- The driver of the vehicle you were riding in
- The company that manufactured the vehicle or the faulty vehicle parts
- The government entity responsible for any hazards that contributed to your accident
- The city
- The repair shop where the vehicle that caused the accident was serviced
- The individual who owns the vehicle
- The employer of the driver who caused the accident
Although it may seem intimidating, filing a lawsuit as a passenger in an auto accident is often quite straightforward. This is because there is no question about liability or who is at fault when you are the passenger. At Wormington & Bollinger, we understand that filing a claim against a friend or family member can be stressful. However, if you were injured and are faced with mounting medical bills as a result, you need to take action against the at-fault party. Again, it helps to keep in mind that you are taking action against the person’s insurance company, not them personally.
Who is Liable?
We’ve brought up liability a lot already and for good reason. Whether an accident involves an 18-wheeler, motorcycle, or pedestrian, it is important to discuss your case with an experienced attorney. Our lawyers will help you understand how liability s determined and what your options are.
In Texas, passengers in car accidents have the legal right to hold the driver who caused the accident liable for the injuries and any other damages that occurred as a result. But unlike cases that just involve the drivers of the vehicles, passengers have more options, as mentioned before. At Wormington & Bollinger, our lawyers are dedicated to ensuring justice was served. We will investigate every accident claim in detail, whether you are coming to us as the passenger or driver of a vehicle. Some of the evidence that may help us not only determine fault but otherwise assist in your claim as a passenger includes:
- The police report from the accident
- Any witness statements or interviews
- Videos and pictures from the accident
- All vehicles involved
- Any record of medical care you received as a result of the accident
- Proof of the damages
How to File a Claim Against the Driver’s Insurance
Every single car accident claim in Texas will hinge on the ability to prove negligence and fault. To receive compensation, it must be clear that the at-fault driver acted negligently.
There are four important aspects that will help determine liability in a Texas car accident:
- A standard of duty was owed to the passenger of the vehicle
- This duty was breached
- The passenger (plaintiff) was injured as a result of this breach
- There is evidence that proves this breach of duty resulted in injury
Once you are able to prove fault and liability, it’s time to talk about insurance. One of the biggest questions when it comes to a passenger filing an accident claim is whose insurance policy will cover your injuries. Then, depending on what type of insurance the at-fault driver has, we can help you move forward. Several different policies may contribute to what kind of claim you can file:
- What liability coverage the driver of the car you were a passenger in has
- What liability coverage the driver of the other vehicle has
- Your personal car insurance policy
- Your health insurance
Before you talk to the other driver’s insurance company, be sure and give your own insurance company a call. If you aren’t sure what type of insurance you have, this simple act will be invaluable. Once you understand your own coverage, we can move forward with filing a claim. If another driver’s distraction or negligence caused you to become injured in a car accident, you have the legal right to seek compensation. Period.
To learn more about filing a car accident claim as a passenger in Texas, please contact Wormington & Bollinger and schedule a free consultation. We are here to discuss your case with you and will help you understand your rights and what the next steps are.