If you are a passenger injured in a car accident, you may have a lot of questions. Who will pay for my injuries? Which insurance covers me? Know that you have just as many rights as the driver to recover compensation for your damages, such as injuries and lost wages. Our San Jose car accident lawyers explain your rights as a passenger in a car accident.
Passenger in a Car Accident: Rights and Claim Options
Your options for recovering compensation after a car accident depend on the unique circumstances of your case. However, you may be able to file a claim against one or more of the following parties:
- Other driver(s), if one or more drivers were negligent in hitting the car you were riding in.
- Your driver, if your driver was responsible or partially responsible for the car accident.
- Your auto insurance company if applicable (med pay or uninsured motorist coverage).
It is important to speak to an experienced car accident attorney about your situation. A lawyer can help you understand your legal options and how to proceed with filing a claim for damages. Your options for filing an injury claim may depend on the severity of your injuries as well as the involved drivers’ auto insurance coverage.
California Auto Insurance Requirements
California requires that every motorist carry liability insurance. California’s minimum liability insurance requirements for passenger vehicles are:
- $15,000 for injury or death to one person
- $30,000 for injury or death to more than one person
- $5,000 for damage to property
Who Is Liable for My Injuries as a Passenger?
California is a comparative fault state. This means that both drivers may share liability or fault for the accident. If the accident involved more than two parties, then the establishment of fault gets even more complicated.
We recommend that you have a car accident lawyer on your side. In many cases, a car accident passenger will not be found to be negligent in the accident. This increases your chances of getting fair and full compensation for your injuries based on the merits of your case. However, fault for the accident should be investigated before you can make a claim.
Our San Jose personal injury lawyers can launch an immediate investigation. We may begin by looking at police reports and obtaining statements from any witnesses on the scene. We would also get your statement recounting the accident. This can help shed light on the accident and help us determine who is potentially liable for your injuries.
What If I Am Related to the Driver and He or She Is At-Fault?
If you are closely related to the driver, and he or she is at-fault for the accident, then you may not be able to pursue a claim against his or her insurance policy. The driver’s policy may actually consider you as one of its insured. This means that you may not be able to file a liability claim against the company that insures you.
What If the At-Fault Driver Is Uninsured?
Were your injuries caused by a driver without auto insurance? If you have uninsured motorist coverage on your own auto insurance policy, then you may have to file an injury claim against your own insurance.
Contact Our San Jose Car Accident Attorneys for More Information
You have legal rights as a passenger in a car accident. You may have a viable claim to recover compensation for damages incurred in the accident. Needham Kepner & Fish LLP can help you understand your legal options, and together we can come up with the best strategy going forward. Call us at (408) 956-6949 or contact us online to get started.