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Rights of Passengers in Auto Accidents

What are the rights of passengers when injured in an auto accident? The drivers are covered by their auto insurance or the at-fault driver’s insurance. But where does the passenger turn, and who pays the medical bills?Rights of Passengers in Auto Accidents - Altizer Law PC

What a Passenger Should Do After an Auto Accident

Essentially, a passenger should do the same things as a driver.

  • First, take a moment to collect yourself and assess your injuries.
  • Second, try to reconstruct the accident in your mind.
  • Third, check on the injuries of others involved in the crash. Do not move injured persons until emergency personnel arrive. Stay with anyone who is seriously injured until they arrive.
  • Fourth, if you are not seriously injured and you have done all that you can for others, take photos of the vehicles and the people before they are moved. These photos could be vital in settling the claims you and others will file.
  • Fifth, cooperate with police when they arrive on the scene. Ensure their report of the crash includes your injuries and losses. Help them understand everything your saw before and after the crash.
  • Sixth, file a claim against the appropriate insurance company or contact an auto accident attorney to help you with this process.

Who is At Fault?

A passenger cannot control the vehicles involved in a crash. Therefore, it is clear that you are not at fault for the auto accident. The investigating police officer(s) will file a report about the crash. The report may be used by police in assessing criminal liability, but the report is not final arbiter of fault in a civil action.

What are a Passengers Rights?

As a passenger injured in the crash, if you did not contribute to the cause of the accident, a financial settlement for injuries and losses, including pain and suffering should be filed against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Remember that you must file your own claim.

When the Passenger is Related to the Driver

Every passenger has the right to hold the driver responsible for the accident that causes their injuries and losses. Although you may not wish to do so, you can sue your relatives, including parents and siblings. However, if you (the passenger) live with the insured at-fault driver. Under Virginia law, your injuries would be covered under that driver’s policy.  In other words, your injuries would be covered under that person’s policy. Many insurance policies contain a statement that you may not file a claim against the policy that inures you.

Multiple Passengers

In the event that there are several injured passengers, each passenger has the right to file a claim. If one or more passengers die in the crash, the surviving next of kin of each passenger may file a wrongful death claim.

Call Altizer Law, P.C.,

If you or a loved one has been injured as a passenger in an auto accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your hurts and harms. You may find the matter of filing a claim as a passenger confusing. If you need assistance or clarification, call Altizer Law, P.C., in Roanoke, Va. We help those injured in auto accidents throughout the Commonwealth. Bettina Altizer and her expert team have been helping the injured for more than 30 years. When you need an attorney to fight for you, call us. We understand that your claim is about the money.

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