When a passenger is injured in a car accident, they usually have an easier case than a driver or any other type of personal injury plaintiff. The reason for this is simple: the passenger does not need to worry about proving liability, as one of the drivers will be liable.
As explained in previous blog posts about proving fault after a car accident, the plaintiff needs to prove two things. The first is liability and the second is how badly the plaintiff was injured. Generally speaking, it is nearly impossible that a driver won’t be found liable after a two-car accident. One of the drivers will be found to be negligent in one way or another.
An example regarding a one-car accident (such as someone driving into a tree) will find that the driver will most likely be liable. A general rule of thumb is that if someone hits something, they typically did something that can be seen as negligent. There are, however, exceptions to this rule. One being if someone hits a deer that abruptly jumps across the road. Something like that is impossible to expect and will find the driver to not be negligent.
Passenger Injury Claim
Like any type of car accident claim, a passenger injury claim proceeds in the same way, except in this case, the passenger would make a claim against both drivers, assuming it was a two-car accident. The passenger would also want to get insurance information from each driver and file claims with their insurance company. An exception to this would be if one of the drivers was not negligent. For instance, if they were rear-ended, the passenger in the car wouldn’t need to file a personal injury claim against the driver of the lead car.
If the accident occurred in a no fault state, the passenger would file a PIP ( Personal Injury Protection) claim against the driver to recover medical expenses and lost wages. After the passenger completes medical treatment, the case can be settled. If there’s a possibility that both drivers could be at fault, the passenger or his/her car accident lawyer will have to negotiate with the insurance companies. Personal injury claims can often be settled without much hassle, but there some that present many difficulties.
When Neither Side Wants to Settle: Car Accident Passenger Injury Case
An example of this situation may be as follows.
If one passenger is injured in a two-car accident, has a claim worth about $100,000, and the jury find both drivers equally at fault during the trial, the insurer of the driver will have to pay $50,000 to the injured passenger. If the jury finds liability to be at 75/25, then the surer will then have to pay $75,000. If insurance companies both argue that their driver is only 25% responsible, then this will complicate matters. The injured passenger now has to wait until an agreement is reached.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer
Were you injured in a car accident due to someone’s negligence and carelessness? Dealing with the insurance companies yourself can be very stressful for someone with little or no experience doing so. When you employ the help of an experienced car accident attorney at The Heslin Law Firm, you no longer need to negotiate with the insurance adjuster. That’s our job.
When you have serious injuries resulting from a tragic car accident, your time should be spent getting proper treatment from a medical professional. Our team of highly skilled lawyers will perform a thorough investigation to determine who’s liable for your pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses, and more. Our Law Firm operates on what is known as a contingency fee basis. This essentially means if you don’t get paid, we don’t get paid. Call our office today to speak with Gary Heslin about your case. We offer free consultations.