The Law Offices of Adrian Crane, P.C.
If you were a passenger who was in a car accident, you may be suffering from the pain of the accident, increasing medical bills, and lost wages from time away from work.
There are several issues you have to resolve before you figure out who will compensate you for your injuries.
Determining Who Was at Fault for The Accident is the First Goal.
First, you have to figure out who is at fault for the accident; there can be situations where two or more drivers are at fault. When more than one person is at fault for an accident, the percentage of liability will be determined either in the process of negotiations (sometimes impliedly) or at trial. When more than one driver is liable (or responsible), then the financial burden is shared by the applicable percentage of responsibility.
If the driver of the car you were a passenger in was solely at fault, then you will be making a claim against only their insurance and also possibly your insurance if their insurance was insufficient to cover your losses AND you have underinsured motorists coverage. You will not be making a claim against or suing the driver of any other car you were not in, since they did not cause the accident. Drivers have a duty to everyone, including passengers, to drive safely and not to cause accidents due to their recklessness or negligence. When they cause an accident, they and their insurance carrier are financially responsible. In Texas, every car must be insured to make sure damages (reimbursement or compensation) are paid when accidents occur.
It is understandable that you may be reluctant to make a claim against a friend or family member, but that’s why they have insurance. The best thing is to just not discuss it with them. It isn’t a personal thing, it is you taking care of yourself.
Your Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage May Pay for Your Losses When You are a Passenger Injured in a Car Accident.
If the driver of the vehicle you were in was not at fault, then their insurance would not pay for your damages. When another car causes your loss, their insurance pays. If you were in an accident and the liable party did not have insurance, they a policy of insurance on your car may pay if you had uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
If the car you were a passenger in had no insurance, and the car accident was your driver’s fault, you can’t make a claim against or sue the driver of the other car. But if you have an existing policy, and there is UIM coverage, you might be able to make a claim against your own insurance for the injuries you sustained as a passenger in a car accident.
If the accident was the fault of the other driver, and they did not have insurance, you may make a claim against your driver’s uninsured/underinsured policy, and if there isn’t any, you may make one against yours.
Regardless of who you decide to pursue a claim against, you will be dealing with insurance adjusters who will want to pay you less than what you are entitled to. Generally speaking, by law, insurance companies have a legal duty to pay you as little money as they can; their duty is to help their company make money. They do this by offering you as little as they think they can get away with, hoping you don’t know what you are entitled to.
They will ask to take your recorded statement. When they do, they will probably try to put words in your mouth and not give you enough time to think. They almost always make insulting offers; rarely enough to cover your medical bills.
Whenever a passenger is injured in any kind of car accident, they have great hurdles to get over in order to get well and get all their bills paid let alone, get fully compensated for their pain and suffering.
An injured passenger is always best off hiring a qualified personal injury lawyer to protect their rights. As you can see, there are many questions and issues that a passenger in a car accident has to sort through. An experienced Dallas and North Texas car accident and personal injury attorney can help you evaluate your Texas accident, help protect your interests and work hard to get fully compensated for your injuries. For more information, contact an attorney with The Law Offices of Adrian Crane, P.C. to schedule a free no-obligation consultation, or use the car accident case evaluation form that is a part of this website.