What Should Passengers Involved in an Accident Do?
If you or someone you know has been involved in an automotive accident as a passenger, this can be a confusing time. Your situation is further complicated when insurance companies cannot agree or determine which driver is liable for the accident.
Who Is at Fault?
The first issue that insurance companies will address is which party was at fault. Insurance companies will launch an investigation to determine guilt by working with the police reports, taking statements from parties involved, and speaking to witnesses who saw the accident.
Filing a Claim Against the Other Driver's Insurance
If the other driver is found at fault, the passenger can then pursue a claim against that driver's insurance coverage. Guilt applies even if the other driver was less at fault than the driver you were riding with. You still have the right to collect compensation from the other driver because that driver shared in liability.
However, the amount of compensation a passenger can receive is no more than the overall value of the claim.
Filing a Claim Against the Driver
If the driver was at fault, you have a legal right to file a claim against
the driver's insurance. This allows you to receive financial compensation
for injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Liability coverage usually
comes with limits per person.
Some unique rules may be applicable if the driver is related to you. The insurance policy may not cover injured family members because the claim would be covering its own driver. Most insured drivers can't file a claim against their own liability coverage.