Can I Sue if I was a Passenger in a Car Accident?

If you have suffered injuries in a car accident, you have the right to bring a civil lawsuit against the negligent party responsible for the crash. This is true whether you were driving the vehicle or riding as a passenger. In many cases, a passenger could have more options than a driver. Not only could you bring a suit against the other motorist involved in the crash, but you could also pursue litigation against the driver of your vehicle– if they were at fault.

However, some important restrictions could prevent you from bringing a lawsuit against the driver of your own car. Our New York City car accident lawyers can advise you of these limitations.

There are additional complexities to bringing a lawsuit if you are a passenger. These issues involve your right to file suit and the challenges of navigating multiple insurance policies. Douglas & London could assist you with recovering the compensation you are entitled to.

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Bringing a claim against your driver

Whether or not you can file an insurance claim or lawsuit against the driver of your vehicle will depend on your relationship with that person. If you are related to the driver, you could be considered an insured driver under their policy. This is the case for married couples as well. Whether or not being an insured person is a good thing depends on the type of available coverage.

This designation means you cannot make a claim against the driver’s liability insurance. If they do not have comprehensive coverage, you could be in an unfortunate grey area. However, if the driver has medical or comprehensive coverage, you could file a claim for benefits.

If you have no familiar relationship with the driver and they are responsible for an accident, you have the right to pursue an insurance claim against their liability policy. If they lack adequate liability coverage, you have the right to file a lawsuit against them.

Suing the other driver

If you can establish that the other driver was negligent, you could recover damages for your injuries, your time away from work, and any other expenses stemming from the accident. If the other driver’s insurer takes responsibility for the accident, they could completely cover your damages. If they disagree on liability, a lawsuit might be your best chance for financial recovery.

When both drivers are at fault

The total cost of treating your injuries may be far more than the other driver’s liability limits. You might have additional options if your personal injury attorney determines both drivers in the crash where partially at fault. While you face the same limitations on suing a family member, in other situations, you could bring a claim against both drivers.

Suing both drivers could be crucial if their individual policy limits do not cover your total losses. If you prevail in a claim against both your driver and the other motorist, you could recover up to the maximum of both of their insurance policies.

Remember, you may not recover more than your total amount of losses just because there is available insurance coverage. For example, if both drivers have up to $25,000 in bodily injury coverage, you could recover as much as $50,000 towards your claim. However, if your injuries are only $10,000, that is the most you are entitled to under the law.

Seek assistance from a skilled injury attorney

At Douglas & London, we are proud advocates of injury victims. Whether you were the driver in a crash or a passenger, our New York City personal injury lawyers are prepared to help you obtain the maximum financial compensation available. Call right away to schedule your initial compensation.