Auto Collision Lawyers Analyze Car Accident Injury Claims Brought by Vehicle Passengers

If you are injured while you are a passenger in a motor vehicle, you generally face fewer obstacles when seeking financial compensation for your injuries. While a driver who is injured in a collision must prove the fault of the other driver or a third-party, passengers can expect that one of the drivers will be liable in most situations. The fundamental aspects of a negligence claim that a passenger must establish usually include liability (fault), causation, and damages.

Parties Potentially Liable for Passenger Injuries in Crashes

The basis of liability will depend on the type of accident. In a two-vehicle collision, one or both of the drivers usually will be at-fault for causing the auto collision. Although the passenger has no role in driving either vehicle, the issue of which driver is at-fault will still be important because of potential disparities in insurance coverage. In some cases, both drivers might share fault, so the injured passenger can pursue claims against the auto insurance carriers for both motorists.

When the crash is a one-vehicle collision, such as a motorist colliding with a tree, the driver of the vehicle usually will be at-fault. When a driver slams into a fixed object, he or she typically did something or failed to do something that caused the collision. However, passengers should understand there can be exceptions. If a driver swerves into a fixed object to avoid hitting a child who suddenly darts into the street at the last instant, this might be a situation where the driver has a valid defense to liability.

Third-Party Liability in Passenger Traffic Accident Claims

When passengers are injured in a motor vehicle collision, third-party liability also should be considered. Potentially responsible third parties may include any of the following, among others:

  • Negligent drivers
  • Owners of vehicles who entrust their vehicle to unsafe drivers or employees
  • Public entities that design, construct, or maintain unsafe roads
  • Mechanics and repair shops that perform shoddy maintenance and repairs
  • Manufacturers of defective vehicles or parts

When a passenger is injured in a Georgia car accident, the best practice is to obtain insurance and driver’s license information for both drivers. Sometimes passengers only obtain information from the driver of the other vehicle based on the belief that he or she is at-fault. However, this preliminary determination of fault can be incorrect, so obtaining information from both drivers is advisable.

If you are a relative of the driver of the vehicle in which you are a passenger and live in the same home, generally you will not be able to pursue a liability claim against the driver. In this situation, you usually will be considered an “insured person” under the liability policy of the driver. Frequently, there will be other options in terms of available coverage, so you should contact our experienced Georgia auto accident lawyers for a free consultation as to your rights and options.