How Can a Lawyer Help Me if I was a Passenger in a Car Accident?

Posted on behalf of Arnold Law Firm on Aug 21, 2017 in Auto Accidents

teen driver and passenger before an auto accidentA passenger who was involved in an auto accident has the same rights as a driver to file a claim to recover compensation for his or her injuries.

Furthermore, a passive passenger is not at fault for causing an auto accident and is not liable for the damages inflicted upon the other parties involved. This means that with the help of a skilled Sacramento auto accident attorney, you may be able recover compensation from a claim against all drivers involved in the collision.

If you were injured as a passenger in a vehicle involved in a traffic collision, contact the Arnold Law Firm to find out if you are entitled compensation for your injury.

Who Can I File a Claim Against?

The first step you must take as a third-party auto accident victim is determine who was at fault for the collision.

California is considered a fault, or tort, state with regard to auto accident claims. This means you must be able to prove who was at fault for the car accident and your injuries in order to recover damages.

Depending on the circumstances of the collision, multiple parties could be liable.

One-Vehicle Collision

As a passenger, the driver of the vehicle you are riding in has a duty to ensure your safety. Any failure to do this could be considered negligence and potentially grounds to file a claim.

With collisions involving a single vehicle, the injured passenger must prove that the driver of the vehicle caused the accident by failing to act in a safe manner as a reasonable person would. For instance, the driver of the vehicle could be considered liable for a passenger’s injuries if the vehicle crashed into a tree because the driver lost control while speeding.

However, if the collision occurred because of an unforeseen incident, such as a deer jumping in front of the vehicle, the driver would not be expected to anticipate this event and would likely not be found negligent in this instance.

Multiple-Vehicle Collision

If you were injured as a passenger in a collision involving two or more vehicles, you may be able to bring a claim against all drivers who were at fault for the collision. This is because California follows the rule of comparative negligence, which assigns a portion of fault for an accident to every party that played a role in causing it.

In this situation, you will need to collect the names, contact information and insurance information from all drivers involved in the collision. You can then file claims with the other drivers’ insurance companies. However, you will need to prove that each driver’s actions contributed to the collision in order to receive compensation from all parties involved.

Because multiple-vehicle collisions can be complicated, it is best to contact a lawyer immediately after an accident involving more than one driver. We can help you determine the parties that could be liable for your injuries. We will also handle all communication with the insurance companies.

How is Compensation Determined if There Are Multiple Drivers Involved?

If you file a claim with each at-fault driver’s insurance company, you may be able to recover compensation up to the policy limit for each claim if your injuries are severe and require compensation from both.

However, if both drivers and their insurance companies are denying fault, things can become complex. An attorney can handle these negotiations for you and advise you of your legal options for obtaining the compensation you need.

In some cases, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit. In a lawsuit, the compensation you are able to recover will depend on each at-fault party’s percentage of fault for the accident. For example, the court may find that the driver of your vehicle is 30 percent at fault for causing the collision and the other driver is 70 percent at fault. If you were injured and were awarded compensation of $100,000, the court would require the driver of your vehicle to pay $30,000, while the other driver would owe you $70,000.

In order to understand the full extent of the compensation you may be owed after an auto accident, it is recommended that you speak with a reputable personal injury attorney in Sacramento.

Contact Our Experienced Auto Accident Attorneys

If you were injured as a passenger in an auto accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses.

Contact the Arnold Law Firm to schedule a free, no obligation consultation. Our attorneys are ready to work with you on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not get paid unless you receive compensation.

Call (916) 777-7777 if you have been injured in an auto accident.

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