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Can Passengers File a Claim After a Car Accident?

By Butler Prather LLP on July 15, 2019

When we talk about filing claims after a car accident in Atlanta, we usually discuss the drivers involved. However, if you or a loved one are a passenger injured in a vehicle crash, you need to know what to do. Georgia car accidents are a reality. Information from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety shows us that hundreds of thousands of vehicle crashes occur each year in this state. Out of those crashes, there are thousands of injuries, some of them severe.

Can Passengers File a Claim After a Car Accident

What can an injured passenger do?

Believe it or not, an injured passenger will likely have an easier time getting compensation through an insurance company in the aftermath of a crash. While drivers in an accident have to deal with who was at fault, passengers are usually considered to not be at fault. They do not have to worry about proving liability in most cases. In almost every vehicle crash, whether it involved one or more vehicles, one of the drivers will be found at-fault.

An injured passenger should file a claim with both drivers’ insurance companies (if more than one vehicle is involved). If it is a single-car crash, the passenger will file a claim with the insurance company of the driver they were riding with. Passengers should collect insurance and contact information from both drivers. A passenger will be able to file an insurance claim if their driver caused the crash, the other driver is responsible, or if both drivers are found to be at fault.

Will I have to file a personal injury lawsuit?

An injured passenger may find it necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit, especially if the insurance companies do not offer enough compensation for your injury expenses. Consider the following common passenger injuries:

  • Broken and dislocated bones
  • Severe lacerations
  • Internal organ damage
  • Internal bleeding
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Whiplash injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Concussions

While most car accident injuries are minor, some can lead to tremendous medical expenses as well as other hidden costs such as lost income, rehabilitation, long-term care, and pain and suffering damages. If the insurance company will not cover the costs, a personal injury lawsuit against the driver(s) involved in the incident may be necessary.

If the driver of the vehicle was an immediate family member and you are considered an insured individual on their insurance policy, you will not be able to sue for additional compensation. However, if you were the passenger in the vehicle of a friend, co-worker, or extended family members, you can file a personal injury lawsuit to recover additional compensation.

Can a passenger be held liable for a crash?

Passengers are not typically going to bear responsibility for a car accident. This means an injured passenger can receive full compensation for their injury-related expenses regardless of who was found at-fault. However, a passenger may receive pushback from an insurer if they got into the vehicle with someone who was incapable of driving safely (drunk or drugged driving).

Recovering compensation is important

Regardless of who is at-fault in a car accident, it is vital that injured passengers receive compensation. The cost associated with crash injuries can add up quickly and put victims and their families into serious financial jeopardy. You may need to speak with a qualified and experienced Georgia car accident attorney about your particular case.

Posted in: Car Accidents

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