As with any other plaintiff filing a personal injury claim, after a car accident, an injured passenger must be able to show that the accident was the defendant’s fault and just how badly they were injured. Typically though, injured passengers have fewer difficulties filing a claim than a driver or any other kind of personal injury plaintiff because they do not have any concerns about proving liability. In most cases, liability will be assessed with one of the drivers.
Exceptions exist in situations where the accident was caused by circumstances beyond anyone’s control. For instance, if a wild animal darts in front of the car suddenly, causing the driver to lose control and wreck the vehicle, the driver would not be held liable.
Filing an Injured Passenger Claim
If the plaintiff was injured in an accident where multiple drivers were found to be at fault, an injured passenger can file an injury claim under both:
- the liability insurance covering the driver/owner of the vehicle in which they were a passenger, and
- the insurance of the driver/owner of any other automobile involved
However, a plaintiff may not collect any amount greater than the value of their claim from multiple drivers/owners.
If the accident occurred in a no-fault state, the plaintiff would file a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or No Fault claim against the liable motorist for his or her medical expenses and lost earnings.
Additionally, an injured passenger may not file a claim against the driver of a vehicle in which they are riding, if that driver is a relative with whom they reside.
Multiple Passenger Injury Claims
In an accident where more than one passenger is injured, all of those passengers may file a claim against the at-fault driver. However, if the sum of the injury cases surpasses the driver’s coverage, each passenger must settle with the liable driver for less than the value of their individual claims.
This will require the injured passengers to agree with one another on how much each passenger will receive. If the passengers cannot do this, it is likely that the insurer will not settle with any of them. At that point, the passengers must file a suit to determine how much each injury victim will get.
Passengers injured in car accidents have several options for filing injury claims. However, case-specific stipulations and time limits apply. If you have been injured as a passenger in a car accident, don’t hesitate to consult a knowledgeable personal injury attorney for individual assistance.
Contact Denver Car Accident Attorney
If you are the victim of a car crash, contact Colorado personal injury attorney Robert Paysinger today. Robert can answer all of your questions and let you know what kind of compensation you may be entitled to under Colorado law. Our law firm offers FREE case consultations and can be reached at 303.279.0221
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