When we think of car accident claims, we often imagine a scenario involving the driver of one vehicle recovering damages from the other driver’s insurance company. However, when passengers are thrown into the mix, car accident claims involving passenger injuries can become more complex.
Unless a passenger purposely obstructed a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle, it is highly unlikely that he or she is at fault in a crash. Passengers may speak up, tell drivers to put down the phone and pay attention, or slow down. However, the negligent or reckless behavior of a driver is not usually within the control of the passenger.
There are a few reasons why a passenger may sustain injuries. These include:
- The driver of another vehicle caused a crash with the vehicle the passenger was riding in
- The driver of the vehicle the passenger was riding in caused a crash
- The passenger may have been involved in a crash caused by a mechanical failure or road defect
Legal recourse for injured passengers
Injured passengers generally have a few options when pursuing compensation for injuries and other financial losses. Georgia law requires that all drivers purchase liability insurance with minimum coverage of:
- Bodily injury liability of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident
- Property damage liability of $25,000 per incident
In the event that another driver caused a car crash, injured passengers may recover damages from the other driver’s insurance company.
In addition, if the passenger’s driver caused the car accident, damages may be recovered from the driver's liability insurance. If the crash involved a hit-and-run and the at-fault driver cannot be found, uninsured motorist insurance may provide coverage.
If, for example, you sustained injuries as a passenger in a hit-and-run collision and your medical bills amounted to $30,000, you may be able to bring a claim against your own uninsured motorist coverage or your driver's uninsured motorist coverage. This is called "stacking UIM policies."
Why you need a car accident lawyer
If you were injured while riding in someone else’s vehicle, you need an experienced Macon car accident attorney advocating for you. Crashes involving passengers are not always cut-and-dry and can often be confusing for the parties involved.
* ”No fee unless we win” refers only to fees charged by the attorney. Court costs and other additional expenses of legal action usually must be paid by the client. Contingent fees are not permitted in all types of cases.