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Understanding Passenger Rights in an Injury Crash

3 Things Passengers Should Know for Their Injury Claim

Being a passenger in a vehicle, no matter the situation, comes with the assumed risk of potentially being involved in a collision. Although you have the expectation that you are in the car with a safe driver, other negligent drivers on the road could cause a motor vehicle accident and, subsequently, an injury to you.

However, passengers should know that they are entitled to certain protections following a crash should they choose to file an injury claim. Here are three things you should know.

#1. Passengers Can Seek Damages

Any person injured in a crash, regardless of where they are sitting in the vehicle, may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. If a passenger chooses to file a claim against the at-fault party, they may be able to recover damages including but not limited to:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages or earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering

If the passenger were to be killed in the crash, their family might be able to seek wrongful death damages that may include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral or burial expenses
  • Loss of companionship
  • Lost wages or financial support

#2. Passengers are Often Covered by the Driver’s Insurance

The at-fault driver's automobile insurance policy will cover the passenger's injuries and medical expenses in most cases. However, should you be in the car with the at-fault driver, the at-fault driver doesn't have insurance, or they don't have sufficient coverage to account for your injuries, you can seek further damages with the help of an attorney.

Many Texas drivers choose to obtain additional coverage to ensure that they and their passengers are protected regardless of whose fault the accident is. Policy additions that cover passengers include:

  • Medical payments coverage
  • Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage

You can learn more about which types of insurance coverage may be most beneficial by viewing this guide.

#3. Passengers May Hold Multiple Parties Accountable

The circumstances surrounding the accident will largely determine who a passenger can hold responsible for their damages. In some instances, multiple parties may be held accountable. Should both drivers have contributed fault to the accident, the passenger may be eligible to pursue a claim against both of them.

If using a rideshare service, the passenger may be eligible to file a claim against both the driver and their employer if an accident occurs and they are found at fault. Unsurprisingly, rideshare services require their employees to be sufficiently insured, and many companies, like Uber for example, have begun providing their own liability insurance that is applicable when the driver is on the clock. In Uber's case, their "third party liability" insurance when waiting for a ride request may cover up to:

  • $50,000 in bodily injury per person
  • $100,000 in bodily injury per accident
  • $25,000 in property damage per accident

When you are actually en route to your destination, the Uber coverage is expanded to include:

  • $1,000,000 in third party liability
  • UM/UIM coverage
  • Comprehensive and collision coverage in certain cases

However, new Texas laws passed in September 2021 may make these liability claims against rideshare services more difficult. To ensure you have the best chance of a successful claim, consider working with an experienced car accident attorney to have your rights protected.

Car Crash Injury? Chris Morrow Law, PLLC Can Help You Recover Damages

For nearly three decades, the team at Chris Morrow Law, PLLC has been holding negligent individuals accountable for the damages they cause. For car accident claims to taking on rideshare companies, we are experienced in getting the results our clients deserve, even if that means going to trial.

If you need legal assistance for your car accident injury claim, call (512) 641-5232 for a free, confidential consultation with Chris Morrow.
 

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