Quite often I get calls from people who were injured as a passenger in a car accident. They always ask, who do you sue? The quick answer is it depends upon who was at fault for the accident. If you were injured as a passenger in a car accident, call our office today for a free consultation at 847-305-4105.
Injured as a passenger in a car accident
Who was at fault for the accident?
First, most likely you won’t have to “sue” anyone. But certainly, the question will arise which driver’s insurance company you should file a claim with. If the driver of the other vehicle was at fault, there is no issue. You will have the same rights as the person driving your vehicle.
But what happens if the driver of your car was all or partially at fault for the accident? If that’s the case, it could be very complicated as in most of the cases I’ve seen like this, the driver of the car or motorcycle is often the parent, significant other, friend or colleague of the injured party. Filing a claim against their insurance could cause friction in your relationship with that person.
For example, a while back I worked on a motorcycle accident case. My former firm represented a woman who was riding on the back of a motorcycle driven by her male friend. As they tried to make a turn, the motorcycle hit some gravel and went down. Our client filed a claim against her friend’s motorcycle policy.
The driver seemed fine with the claim at first until it came time to settle her case. He heard how much money we demanded and he angrily called our office and told us he was not at fault for the accident, the gravel was. However, his insurance company had already accepted liability for the accident.
Our client was also upset as she did not want to anger her friend. We advised our client that if the driver was not at fault for the accident, then there would be zero recovery. In the end, our client agreed to continue to pursue the case and she recovered nicely for her injuries.
As an aside, as a passenger, if you are injured as a passenger in a car accident, you are also entitled to utilize the driver’s medpay insurance through his/her own insurance policy to pay for some of your medical bills.
Taxi, Uber and Lyft accidents
I have received several calls in the past couple years from people who were Injured as a passenger in a car accident involving an Uber driver. I generally support the rideshare concept but have noticed that often when I see a car driving erratically it often is a rideshare vehicle.
If you are injured as a passenger in the back of an Uber, you can recover for your injuries. The issue again will be who caused the accident, the Uber or Lyft driver or the driver of the other car. I have handled cases where a passenger was injured by a third party while driving in an Uber and I have also represented Uber drivers who were injured by others while driving.
Uber uses James River Insurance Company to handle their driver’s claims. Clicking here will take you to the page to file a claim for injuries suffered as a passenger in an Uber.
The same rule applies if you are injured as a passenger in a bus accident. I’ve represented bus accident victims before and we deal with trying to figure out who is responsible for the accident, the CTA or other bus agency or the driver of the car the bus crashed with.
Solo vehicle accidents
I recently received a call from a very nice woman who was involved in a solo vehicle accident. She admitted to the insurance company that she crashed her vehicle when she bent down while driving to pick something up. Her car flipped and she and her 2 small kids were injured.
In that situation, the woman has no claim as she caused the accident. However, both of her children have a claim to file against their own mother for their injuries. Fortunately, the mother knew she was at fault and her auto insurance rates were going to increase regardless. As such, she had her kids file claims against her own policy.
If you are Injured as a passenger in a car accident, call our office at 847-305-4105 for a free consultation. This situation can get sticky and often times it’s better to have an outside party like a personal injury attorney make the call for you.