Who Do I Sue if I am the Passenger in a Car Accident?
If you suffer injuries in a car accident as a passenger, you have the same right to pursue compensation as if you had been driving. In many ways, you have more avenues to financial recovery and less potential for liability. Not only do you have a potential claim if the other driver was responsible for the crash, but you could also pursue legal action against the driver of your own vehicle if they were at fault.
While you might be in a strong position, you are never guaranteed financial compensation after a crash. Insurance companies will aggressively work to deny your right to compensation, especially if you attempt to pursue your claim alone. Let a dedicated Los Angeles car accident lawyer guide you every step of the way.
Pursuing the other driver
If the driver of the other vehicle in the accident is at fault, you can pursue a claim against them. This can involve a claim against their liability policy or a lawsuit directly against the other driver. In many ways, this process is the same as if you had been driving your own vehicle at the time of the crash. The major benefit to you is that the other driver will not have any grounds to claim that you were responsible for the crash. Given that you were not driving in the first place, you are all but immune to claims that you were the negligent party.
If the other driver does not have insurance, you have the right to sue them directly. However, you might also fall under the scope of your own driver’s uninsured motorist policy. These policies are not mandatory, so you will first need to determine if you are covered at all before filing a claim.
Pursuing the driver of your vehicle
In some cases, the driver of the vehicle you were a passenger in will share some of the responsibility for a crash. While you may have the right to seek compensation from them, this circumstance can be complicated.
Whether or not you are eligible to file a liability insurance claim on your driver’s policy depends on your relationship to the driver. If you are a close family member that lives with the driver, the odds are good you are covered by the liability policy. This is bad news in this situation, as this will prevent you from filing a liability claim. After all, these policies are only designed to shield the insured party from liability, not cover their injuries.
If your driver has comprehensive coverage and you are not eligible for a liability claim, you may still be in luck. You could be able to file a claim under the driver’s policy in this case. However, not all drivers carry comprehensive coverage. It is possible that you could fall through the cracks, where you are ineligible for a claim on any of the driver’s policies.
Never assume you will not be covered by insurance, though. The insurance companies might attempt to bully you, but often they know you are entitled to benefits. When you work with a dedicated Los Angeles car accident attorney, you improve your chances of obtaining the benefits you are entitled to. And if you are not covered by insurance, you still have the right to sue any driver that caused your injuries in the crash.
Filing a claim on your own insurance
Sometimes you can rely on your own insurance policies, even when you are not driving. If you have health insurance, you might be able to cover your medical expenses through a claim.
Your own car insurance policy might also cover accidents when you are not driving. Certain comprehensive policies do not require that you were behind the wheel at the time of the crash. That said, every policy is different. You will need to carefully review the language of your policy to determine if you have the right to file a claim.
Let an experienced attorney help
Pursuing a claim for compensation starts with determining the party that caused your injuries. At Ellis Injury Law, we can carefully review your case and help you identify the party or parties that are responsible for your injuries. To discuss your options, schedule a free consultation with Ellis Injury Law right away.