What To Do As An Injured Passenger
Dec. 21, 2022
Being involved in an automobile accident is always a stressful and confusing experience, regardless of whether you are in the driver’s seat or riding as a passenger. If you were injured in a car accident as a passenger, you might get angry at your driver or the other driver involved in the crash. However, no matter how you feel in the aftermath of the accident, you need to know what to do as an injured passenger to protect your rights and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
At The Law Office of Aaron Fonseca, I represent all motor vehicle accident victims in Edinburg, Texas, and other parts of the state, including Rio Grande Valley, Mission, and McAllen. If you were injured in a car crash as a passenger, I can help you navigate the claims process and ensure that you take the necessary steps to pursue fair compensation.
How Is Fault Determined in Accidents Involving Injured Passengers?
Texas adheres to the at-fault system when it comes to determining fault in motor vehicle accidents. In states with this traditional legal framework, parties deemed at fault for the accident are responsible for paying damages to other parties involved in the crash. It means that accident victims, including injured passengers, can obtain compensation for their damages and losses by pursuing a claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance provider.
However, determining fault after a car accident is not always easy, not to mention that there may be multiple at-fault parties. In many cases involving two or more vehicles, a thorough investigation may be necessary to determine fault. Sometimes, there may be more than one at-fault party. Since Texas follows a modified comparative negligence rule, each party’s recoverable damages are reduced in proportion to their degree of fault. Under the rule, you cannot recover any damages if found to be more than 50% at fault.
Filing a Claim As an Injured Passenger
If you sustained injuries in a car accident while riding in the passenger’s seat, you should not be forced to pay for your medical treatment and cover other losses from your own pocket. You may have a right to file an insurance claim as an injured passenger and seek compensation for your medical expenses and other losses.
Once fault is determined and you know whose fault caused the accident in which you were a passenger, you can file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance. Contact a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to assist you in determining fault, help you navigate the claims process, and negotiate a fair settlement offer on your behalf.
Can a Passenger Be Responsible for the Accident?
While it may be difficult to imagine a situation in which a passenger can be responsible for causing a car accident, it is not impossible for passengers to bear full or partial responsibility for causing accidents on the road. Keep in mind that Texas is a modified comparative negligence state, which means each party – be it a driver or a passenger – can recover damages in proportion to their level of fault.
For example, let’s imagine that a passenger in the front seat grabs the steering wheel and causes the vehicle to crash into another vehicle or a stationary object. Would a passenger be held responsible for the accident? Absolutely. However, accidents in which a passenger intentionally does something (e.g., grabs the steering wheel) to cause a crash are not common, which is why passengers cannot be held at fault in the majority of cases.
Personalized Legal Counsel
Being injured in a car crash as a passenger can be stressful and overwhelming. You may not know what steps to take as an injured passenger to get fair compensation. If this sounds like your situation, I can help. At The Law Office of Aaron Fonseca, I help accident victims in Edinburg, Texas, obtain the compensation they need to get their lives back on track. No matter where you live in Texas, get in touch now to discuss your compensation options.