Can a Passenger File a Claim Against the Driver in a Traffic Accident?
As a passenger in a vehicle, you are most likely not at fault for an accident. However, if you are injured, you need to know how to seek compensation for any injuries you sustain in the collision. In this blog, we provide some basic information on how you can be compensated as a passenger in a traffic accident. We encourage you to contact our office for more information and a free consultation with a Fresno personal injury attorney.
Who to Make a Claim Against
You will make a claim against the party who is responsible for the traffic accident. This may not be as obvious as it sounds if the accident involved two or more vehicles and no one wants to admit fault. An independent accident investigation may need to be performed to determine fault. As experienced Fresno personal injury lawyers, we can help you determine who is at fault for the collision so that you can make a claim against that party. In some cases, you may be able to file an accident claim against both drivers. This can be a definite advantage in cases where damages are extensive because it allows you to collect compensation from the insurance companies from both drivers.
Determining fault is a crucial step in filing an accident claim as a passenger. Just as in any other traffic accident, you must prove that the driver is at fault for the collision and that you suffered damages as a result of the accident. If you cannot prove this, you will not be able to recover compensation for your injuries.
When You’re Related to the Driver
It may be difficult to consider filing an accident claim against a driver who is related to you or who is a good friend. However, you may incur substantial costs as a result of the traffic accident. You may be out of work for weeks or months as you recover from your injuries. You may require surgery and physical therapy; therefore, your medical bills could reach into the thousands of dollars. As an injured passenger, you should not bear the cost of the traffic accident. In most cases, the insurance company, not your relative or friend, pays your damages. This is why all drivers have liability insurance — in case someone is injured in a traffic accident that we cause, even if that person is our relative or our friend.
Do You Need an Attorney for a Passenger Claim?
While the drivers in a traffic accident may feel the need to hire attorneys to prove the other driver was at fault, an injured passenger may not see the necessity of hiring an attorney because the passenger was not at fault. The passenger was an innocent victim of the traffic accident. However, it is critical that you have someone to represent you to ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to receive under California’s personal injury laws. Just because you are a passenger does not mean that the insurance adjuster will just pay your accident claim without a fight. The insurance adjuster may question the extent of your injuries or try to blame you for your injuries (i.e. you were not wearing a seat belt).
Call a Fresno Personal Injury Attorney For More Information
If you have been injured in a traffic accident in Fresno, CA or the surrounding Central California Valley area, we can help. Call Torem & Associates at (888) 500-5000 or use our online contact form to schedule a free, no obligation case evaluation with one of our Fresno personal injury attorneys.