Passengers are rarely responsible for causing car accidents, but they often suffer the consequences. These can take the form of serious injuries, lost wages, a permanent inability to work, and emotional and physical suffering.
Claiming compensation for those losses and damages requires determining the available insurance and who is liable for the accident, whether it’s the person who was driving you at the time, another vehicle operator, or some other third party, such as a road construction company. As with any accident, you will need to assess the incident’s economic and non-economic impact on your life, including past medical bills, lost wages, future expenses, and pain and suffering.
However, because you were not the driver, understanding the available insurance coverage and who is responsible for paying can become quite convoluted. Any time multiple insurance policies are involved in an accident, the separate carriers will attempt to shift responsibility away from themselves and onto the other parties. This can make it difficult to pinpoint exactly what your rights are, and who is legally responsible to pay for your damages.
Because of these complications, passengers injured in vehicle accidents substantially benefit from the expertise of qualified car accident and personal injury lawyers. The attorneys at FVF can help you understand the true financial impact of your accident, discover who may be liable for compensation, and understand the ins and outs of various insurance policies. Our firm’s sincere hope is that accident victims like you take the time to become educated about their rights and options after being injured as a passenger in a vehicle. Here’s what we think you need to know.
Understanding who was responsible for your accident is a crucial step in identifying the relevant insurance carriers and policies that might provide coverage for your harms and losses. However, liability is not always clear cut. In fact, it’s possible that multiple drivers or other parties share responsibility for the accident.
Even if it is clear which driver caused the collision, it is important to identify any other parties or insurance companies that might be legally obliged to pay for your harms and losses. For instance, if you were a passenger in a vehicle struck by a driver who was on the job, the driver’s employer may be responsible for their employee’s conduct and liable to pay you for some or all of your damages. Similarly, rideshare passengers, such as those riding in an Uber or Lyft, have completely different factors for determining which insurance companies are responsible for paying damages.
The following are things your lawyer will consider as you work to identify liability:
Many people fail to fully understand the true short- and long-term consequences an injury can have on things like medical costs and earning capacity. Even those who understand those consequences may not know how to prove them.
The following are common types of damages and losses we see — and know how to prove — in these types of cases:
A qualified and properly experienced auto accident attorney in Austin can help you document these expenses and evaluate the future costs associated with your injury.
The outcome of your case is determined not only by who was at fault and the extent of your damages, but also by the insurance funds available to cover those losses. Here are a few important factors that may play a determining role in your settlement.
In rare circumstances, a passenger may be at fault or partially at fault for the accident, which decreases the chance that there will be a payout for the passenger’s injuries. Passenger behavior that can affect the outcome of the case includes:
An auto accident attorney will formulate a strategy to obtain a settlement amount that covers your costs and needs. Your lawyer will help you identify alternative sources to cover your medical bills if the at-fault driver’s insurance is insufficient.
They can also help you unravel the different insurance policies and parties involved in your accident and understand the full extent of coverage available to you. And they can evaluate the cost of your injuries and estimate the current and future toll on your finances, health, and livelihood.
Vehicle passenger settlements can be particularly burdensome if the victim knows the at-fault driver. It is much harder to file a claim against a friend or acquaintance than against a stranger. Objective advice from an Austin auto accident attorney can be critical support in a stressful time.
At FVF, our experienced Austin car accident and personal injury lawyers value transparency and want to help you understand every option available to you. We offer free, no-commitment evaluations so that you can make educated decisions about your case. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
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