Can a Passenger File a Personal Injury Claim After a Car Accident?

driver and passenger react to accidentAlthough many people may associate car accident claims as being filed by an injured driver, passengers may also be able to pursue compensation after a collision

However, passengers are often unaware about their rights after a car accident. This includes their right to bring a claim against an at-fault driver for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

If you or someone you love has been injured by a negligent driver, contact Simien & Simien to schedule a free, no obligation consultation. Our Baton Rouge car accident attorneys have decades of experience representing victims of negligence, and will help you determine if you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses.

Can a Passenger Be Liable for an Accident?

After an auto accident, many people are often confused as to which party is truly at fault for the collision. In some cases, insurance companies representing the other party may attempt to blame the passenger for being at fault for the accident.

However, a passenger who has been injured in an auto accident cannot be held liable for the at-fault driver’s negligence. This means the passenger may have several options to pursue compensation after the crash. He or she may be able to bring a claim against the driver of the other vehicle, or against the driver of the vehicle he or she was traveling in when the collision occurred.

Determining Fault

Louisiana uses an at-fault system to determine which party is required to pay for the damages that resulted from a car accident. This means the party determined to be at fault is liable for the damages that resulted from the accident.

However, passengers may have the option of filing multiple claims after being injured in an accident to maximize the compensation they receive. This depends on how many vehicles were involved in the collision:

Single-Vehicle Accidents

A single-vehicle accident occurs when the driver crashes his or her vehicle into a stationary object, such as a tree or another parked vehicle.

Often, single-vehicle accidents are the result of driver negligence and are typically associated with distracted, impaired or reckless driving.

If you were injured as a passenger in a single-vehicle accident, you may be able to file a personal claim against the driver of your vehicle. Additionally, you may not have to prove how the driver was liable, only that you were injured in an accident while traveling in his or her vehicle.

Multiple-Vehicle Accidents

If the accident involved multiple vehicles, it is important that you are able to establish which party is at fault for causing the collision.

Although many car accidents are caused by one driver’s actions, there may be situations where multiple drivers are at fault for causing a collision. This can occur when both drivers are acting negligently, such as engaging in distractions behind the wheel.

Likewise, both drivers can be at fault if each was driving recklessly, such as speeding or failing to follow traffic signals. This means a passenger injured in the accident may be able to bring a claim against both drivers. However, the amount of compensation you can pursue from either party will depend on their level of negligence.  

Comparative Negligence

If more than one driver contributed to the accident, Louisiana uses the standard of comparative negligence to determine the degree of fault of each party involved.

Under comparative negligence, a court will examine each driver’s actions to determine which one may have displayed a higher degree of negligence. Each party will be assigned a percentage of his or her level of fault, which will be used to decide the amount of compensation he or she has to pay.

For example, if one driver is found to be 30 percent at fault for an accident, and the victim has filed a $100,000 claim, the driver would be responsible for paying $30,000. The remaining $70,000 would be the responsibility of the remaining at-fault parties.

How an Attorney Can Help

There are many benefits for hiring an attorney after being injured in an auto accident. An attorney will act as your advocate throughout the claims process to help you pursue the maximum amount of compensation you deserve.

Additionally, an attorney will review each party’s actions during the accident to help you determine which one may be at fault for causing the collision. He or she will also communicate with the insurance company to help ensure your claim is handled fairly throughout the claims process.

Contact Us for Help

If you have been injured in an auto accident caused by another’s negligence, it is important to understand which legal options may be available to recover compensation.

At Simien & Simien, our personal injury attorneys in Baton Rouge are dedicated to helping victims of negligence obtain the justice and compensation they deserve. Do not hesitate to contact us to schedule a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your claim with one of our dedicated attorneys.

All of our services are provided on a contingency fee basis, which means we will not charge you upfront fees for representing your claim. We only require payment if we recover compensation for your claim.

Call (800) 374-8422 to get started today.

If you are looking for a law firm that has knowledge and experience, you will find it with Simien & Simien, LLC.

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