Being a passenger during a motor vehicle wreck can be confusing and scary. Passengers involved in crashes risk suffering some of the most devastating consequences. Whether the consequences are medical complications, physical injuries, or psychological harm, the passenger in an auto accident is absolutely entitled to compensation for damages.
As a passenger, you have the legal right to be kept safe by your driver and other drivers on the road. So, if you are a passenger in an auto accident, you have a number of legal options to recover damages, including suing the driver who caused the crash. Whether it’s an insurance claim, a personal injury lawsuit, or both, a car accident lawyer can help you get the best results.
Knowing who you can sue after an accident is crucial to recovering compensation for your injuries and damages. If you need legal assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers to discuss your case.
When To Pursue Legal Action in a Car Accident as a Passenger
A common mistake that most passengers involved in motor vehicle accidents make is declining to pursue personal injury claims or going to court for fear of causing harm to the driver. They may dread the negative consequences that the driver may face, particularly if they are a family member or friend.
However, in most cases, this isn’t true. As a passenger in an auto accident, you may receive compensation without taking your loved one to court. Keep in mind that most personal injury claims are settled out of court. This means there is a high likelihood that the insurance company will settle your claim without you having to file a lawsuit.
So, if you are wondering, “What happens if I’m a passenger in a car accident?” It’s best to consult an experienced car accident lawyer to understand your options. From filing an injury claim to dealing with insurance carriers, an attorney can help you navigate the personal injury process and determine whose insurance policy should cover your damages.
How To Prove Negligence and Liability as an Injured Passenger
If you are involved in an accident as a passenger, you bear the burden of proving negligence and liability to receive compensation. There are four elements that your Louisiana car accident lawyer should establish to prove negligence:
- The driver had a duty of care to act in a specific way, follow traffic rules, and not endanger your well-being.
- The driver failed to do so.
- Their negligent actions led to an accident.
- You suffered harm, including injuries and medical expenses, due to their actions.
By establishing that the at-fault driver acted negligently, leading to your accident, you may be able to prove they caused the accident and hold them liable for your damages.
At Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers, our car accident attorneys can gather evidence to build an airtight personal injury case against the potentially at-fault driver, including:
- Eyewitness statements
- Medical records
- Video footage, such as CCTV videos and dashcam footage
- Police reports
- Evidence of your expenses and losses
- Photos from the scene
- Medical expert consultation
- Accident reconstruction reports
Injured passengers often find that working with experienced lawyers makes the personal injury claims process much more manageable.
Who May Be Liable in a Passenger Accident Case?
When filing a personal injury claim as a passenger involved in a crash in Texas or Louisiana, you may file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company, your insurance company, or, in some cases, both companies.
The Other Driver
If you are a passenger in an auto accident, your first option would be to seek compensation from the other driver and their insurance company. Since Louisiana and Texas are both at-fault states, you must first seek compensation from the at-fault driver. In both states, drivers are required to carry minimum liability coverage for auto accidents.
In Louisiana, motorists must maintain minimum liability coverage of 15/30/25: $15,000 for bodily injuries per person, $30,000 for bodily injuries for more than one person, and $25,000 for property damage.
In Texas, every driver is required to have 30/60/25 liability coverage. This liability coverage translates to $30,000 for injuries per person, $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage.
However, you may face a few obstacles when seeking compensation from the other driver. First, their insurance policy may not be enough to cover all your expenses and damages. Still, if there are many people — say, four occupants in the vehicle — your compensation may be lower, especially if they only maintain state minimum coverage.
If the compensation doesn’t cover all your damages, Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers can advise you about taking your personal injury case to trial to recover maximum compensation for your injuries.
You may be able to recover compensation for damages through your driver’s policy if their actions led to the accident. If your driver was texting while driving, speeding, tailgating, or disobeyed a traffic signal and caused an accident, they may be at fault and liable for your injuries and damages. The police, insurance companies, and attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation to determine this.
At Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers, our legal team will gather and analyze all evidence to determine who caused the accident. We will also interview you to understand what happened on that tragic day. After that, we will file an insurance claim with your driver’s carrier, seeking the best possible compensation. If the driver’s policy doesn’t sufficiently cover your damages, we may proceed to file a personal injury lawsuit against them.
Our lawyers also understand that you may not wish to file a lawsuit, depending on the relationship you have with the driver. For example, if the driver is your spouse or daughter, you may only wish to recover compensation through an insurance claim.
In some cases, both drivers may be liable for the accident. In this case, you may file a claim with both insurance companies to recover your medical bills. You may also turn to your personal insurance policy if you have exhausted all other options for additional coverage.
Legal Help and Representation After Being Injured in an Accident as a Passenger
Being injured as a passenger in an auto accident can be complicated. You may have to deal with multiple insurance companies to recover compensation for your damages, and they will look for ways to deny or devalue your claim. This is why you need the help of an experienced car accident attorney sooner rather than later.
Call Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers today at (318) 221-1508 to schedule your initial case review. Our legal team is ready to discuss your case and answer any questions you may have. Get started now to get the justice and compensation you deserve.