Do Car Insurance Policies Cover Passengers Involved in a Crash?

2020-01-01 17:14:00

african-american-man-holding-neck-in-car-with-womanIf you are injured as a passenger in someone else’s vehicle, which insurance policy will cover your damages?

The answer to this question depends on the circumstances involved in your accident. The experienced auto accident lawyers in Sacramento at the Arnold Law Firm can help determine liable parties and assist you in recovering compensation. Schedule a free case review today.

Filing a Claim as a Passenger

California is a fault state, so accident victims – including passengers – file claims with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The at-fault driver could be the one driving the vehicle you were in, or the driver of another vehicle that hit the one you were riding in.

California law requires all vehicle owners to maintain minimum liability coverage on their vehicles as part of the state’s financial responsibility laws. This coverage pays for damages from an accident caused by the policyholder.

The minimum coverage amounts are:

  • $15,000 bodily injury to one person
  • $30,000 bodily injury to more than one person
  • $5,000 property damage

If you are already included in the at-fault driver’s policy, you may be unable to file a claim against the liability coverage in that policy. If this policy has Med Pay coverage, you may be able to pursue compensation for your medical bills. This coverage applies no matter who was at fault for the accident.  

Named Driver Exclusions

Some drivers tell their insurance companies to exclude certain people from coverage from their insurance policy. Drivers may do this to lower their premiums because the driver they want to exclude is a high risk, for example, maybe he or she has had a DUI or a bad driving record. 

Injured Passenger Do’s and Don’ts

If you are injured in an auto accident, it is important to know what to do in the days and weeks that follow.

  • Contact the police so they can investigate and file a report.
  • Ask all drivers for their insurance and contact information.
  • Seek medical attention if you were injured.
  • Do not give a recorded statement. Insurance companies may try to use this against you.
  • Do not agree to settle your claim right away. Talk to a lawyer first to learn more about the potential value of your claim. Your lawyer can also manage your claim on your behalf.
  • Do not sign anything without talking to your lawyer. This includes written statements or medical records releases. 

Contact Us Today About Your Accident

If you were injured as a passenger in an auto accident, you may have the right to pursue compensation for the damages you suffered. Our trusted attorneys are prepared to investigate your claim and determine who may be liable for the damages you suffered.

Contact us to learn more about possible legal options. Call (916) 777-7777.