When drivers suffer injury in motor vehicle collisions in Fulton County or any of the counties that comprise the Atlanta metro area, they typically have at least a vague understanding that they may have a right to compensation from the motorist who caused the collision. When drivers fail to obey traffic signs or signals, travel at an unsafe speed or multi-task behind the wheel, financial responsibility often is imposed based on traffic violations or otherwise hazardous driving conduct that causes a serious crash. However, the situation can be more confusing if you were a passenger in the car of the driver whose poor driving caused the collision. Because many people are less sure about their legal rights when they are injured while riding in the car with a motorist who causes a collision with another vehicle, we have provided answers to common questions regarding the rights of passengers in Georgia.
Can I pursue a legal claim even though I was riding with the driver that caused the collision?
Unfortunately, passengers riding with drivers who make a mistake or engage in risky driving behavior frequently suffer injuries in car accidents. Those traveling in the vehicle of either driver typically has the right to seek financial compensation against the negligent driver, even if the passenger was traveling in that motorist’s vehicle.
What if the negligent driver is a family member or friend, and I am hesitant to pursue a legal claim and damage our personal relationship?
When passengers injured in car crashes pursue a legal claim, the financial recovery normally will be against the driver’s insurance coverage. Although there are personal injury claims or lawsuits that are satisfied by the assets of drivers, most situations like this will involve the insurance company for the driver handling the claim and paying the compensation.
What are my rights if both drivers engaged in driving practices that constitute negligence?
A claim for personal injuries may be brought against multiple responsible parties because there is no “either-or” requirement. There are many claims or lawsuits where more than one party shares liability for the property damage and injuries suffered in a Georgia or Fulton County collision. These parties are not limited to the drivers because others may also be financially responsible based on the facts and circumstances, including but not limited to public entities for dangerous roads, owners for entrusting their cars to unsafe drivers, car manufacturers for vehicle defects, employers of unsafe drivers and more. This can be a very important issue if some of the parties involved in an accident lack insurance.
What types of financial compensation might an injured passenger be entitled to receive?
A passenger has the right to seek the full range of damages that typically are available to a motorist injured by another driver who is at-fault, but the specific damages will depend on the nature of your injuries, disability or disfigurement, economic losses and more. Some forms of damages that you might be able to pursue depending on the facts include:
• Property damage
• Lost earnings
• Diminished earning potential
• Pain and suffering
• Impact on enjoyment of life
• Loss of companionship, guidance and affection of a spouse
• Other damages depending on the circumstances
Put Our Law Firm’s Over 39 Years Experience to Work on Your Personal Injury Case Today!
If you or someone close to you is injured when traveling as a passenger in the vehicle of a negligent driver, our Atlanta auto accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates have been representing injury victims for over thirty years throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.