Car Crashes with Injured Passengers
Unfortunately, most people will get into a car accident during their lifetime, whether it is a minor fender bender or a serious crash with injuries and serious property damage. But while you may know what to do if you are driving the car in the accident, what if you are a passenger injured in the crash? Who will pay your medical bills and how do you go about getting compensation for your injuries? Here is a short guide for injured passengers after car crashes.
Who Is At Fault?
If you are a passenger injured in a car crash, which driver is liable for your injuries? The main determining factor for this is who is ultimately at fault for the accident. The insurance companies for the drivers involved will go through an investigatory process to find this out using police reports, pictures of the crash and damage, witness interviews, and any evidence they need.
When The Driver Is At Fault
If the investigation determines that the driver of the car you were in was ultimately at fault for the accident, you then have the legal right to file a claim with the driver’s insurance company. You are entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and lost wages, up to a certain amount per accident and per person as determined by their liability policy. It is important to note that this is the case for most people, but if you are related to the driver, different rules may apply. The driver’s insurance policy may not cover certain relatives, because the driver may be essentially filing a claim against their own policy. Most companies do not allow this.
When The Other Driver Is At Fault
If the driver of the other vehicle is at fault, a passenger can file a claim against their liability insurance to cover the same expenses as listed above. Even if the other driver is less at fault than the driver you were riding with, as the passenger you still have the right to file a claim for the full amount of damages under the legal theory of shared fault. This allows the passenger to get compensated as quickly as possible for their injuries, and then the drivers can reimburse each other based on their fault percentages.
Filing A Claim With Your Own Insurance
Another way reimbursement can come into play is if you decide to file a claim with your own car insurance company. This type of coverage does not have a liability factor, so the passenger does not need to share any fault at all in the accident. This gives you another option for getting compensated quickly for your injuries, and then the various insurance companies can settle reimbursement claims.
Be Aware: Passenger Liability
There are instances where passengers do share fault in causing accidents. Distracting drivers, grabbing the steering wheel, and other dangerous activities can cause car crashes just as well as any other action. During the investigation, if the insurance companies find that the passenger had a hand in causing the accident, then their recovery will be reduced by the percentage they are determined to be at fault for. For example, if a passenger suffers $10,000 in damages, but the investigation assigns him or her 10% of the fault, their recovery would be reduced by $1,000.
Contact A Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in New Jersey Today!
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries in a motor vehicle accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Lombardi and Lombardi, P.A. represent clients throughout the state, including Toms River, Edison, Brick and Freehold. Call 732-564-7165 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have two offices located at 1862 Oak Tree Road, Edison, NJ 08820 and 10 Parsonage Rd., Edison, NJ 08837. Our other offices are located in Brick at 119 Chambers Bridge Rd., Brick, NJ 08723, in Freehold at 402 West Main Street, Freehold, NJ 07728, and in Point Pleasant at 62 Broadway, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.