When we hear of people who can potentially be injured in a car accident, our minds usually think of the drivers of the vehicles. Less often do we think of the injuries that passengers can sustain from car accidents. Just like the drivers involved in a car accident, passengers can endure severe injuries in a collision.
What options does a passenger have when he or she is involved in a car accident? Who is held liable, and what actions must the passenger take after the car accident? The Maryland car accident attorneys at Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A., discuss your options following a car accident in today’s blog.
What actions must a passenger take after being involved in a car accident?
Just like a driver involved in a car accident, it is important for a passenger to gather as much information as possible at the scene of the accident. Passengers must collect the insurance information of their driver and the other drivers involved in the accident. If police have to file a police report, they should seek a copy of that police report for their insurance companies. This will help when the passenger files a claim for any injuries that they sustained.
Who can the passenger hold liable for injuries in a car accident?
It depends on the driver who is at fault for the accident. If the passenger’s driver is at fault for the accident, the passenger would file a bodily injury claim with the driver’s insurance policy. If the other driver was at fault for the accident, the passenger would file a claim against the other driver’s insurance policy.
Note, though, that if someone else is driving your car, you have to file through your own insurance. The policy follows the vehicle, not the driver.
An injured passenger can also file a claim under the personal injury protection (PIP) plan with the insurance policy for the vehicle they were in. A driver’s PIP policy provides additional coverage for medical expenses and lost wages regardless of who is at fault.
Obstacles a passenger faces after filing a claim against the other driver’s insurance policy
Filing a claim against the other driver’s insurance policy is going to be a little bit more challenging. One of the obstacles a passenger may run into is discovering whether the passenger’s injuries are eligible for coverage under the other driver’s policy. With some car accidents, it may be difficult to determine the driver who is actually at fault.
The insurance company might draw out the process of determining who is the driver at fault and the amount of liability their driver is responsible for. Another obstacle involves whether the other driver has enough insurance to cover the passenger’s injuries. Generally, the amount of coverage a passenger may obtain for their injuries will be limited based on the number of people who were injured in the car accident, especially if the other driver has a minimum amount of coverage.
What options does the passenger have if both drivers deny being at fault for the car accident?
If one or both drivers refuse to accept liability for a passenger’s claim, the passenger can file a personal injury lawsuit against one or both of the drivers. If the case happens to go to trial, and both drivers are found to be at fault, there are several ways in which liability can be assessed. The judge may rule that both drivers pay half of the passenger’s damages.
The judge might rule that one driver is more liable than the other driver, and rule that the driver pays a larger majority of the passenger’s personal injury claim. In some cases, the judge’s ruling may cause both insurance companies to prolong the settlement until an agreement can be reached or the other company caves in and agrees to pay the majority of the claim.
Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. helps individuals injured in car accident sin Maryland. Whether you were driving the car or just along for the ride, we can help you with your claim. Call our office at 410-730-7737 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation.