Atlanta Auto Collision Lawyers Carpool Accidents Can Pose Complex Challenges for Injured Passengers

There are many people who rely on carpools when commuting to work or transporting kids to school to avoid traffic, increase productivity during their trip, promote fuel efficiency, or a variety of other reasons. While carpools offer many benefits, they also can result in car accidents that cause serious injury or even tragic death. When you are involved in a carpool accident, the process of seeking compensation you deserve under the law can depend on a variety of factors. Our Atlanta auto collisions lawyers discuss the special issues regarding personal injury claims involving carpool-related accidents.

Determining Insurance Coverage of Drivers

The first issue to consider is whether the carpool accident involves a commercial van service or private driver. When the driver works for a commercial van service, the company will have insurance to cover accidents caused by the negligence. If you or your children are in a carpool involving private drivers, such as one where parents rotate responsibility for transporting their kids to school, it is important to confirm who will be driving and that all drivers have insurance. Sometimes a parent in a carpool will have someone else, such as a nanny, drive the vehicle. Even if this person does not have insurance, the insurance of the vehicle owner may cover the negligent driver’s accident. As a last resort, your uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist coverage can also provide an avenue of recovery.

Assessing Potential Defendants in Carpool Accident Claims

After identifying the proper insurance, it is necessary to determine who is at-fault in causing the carpool accident. Sometimes the carpool driver is at fault for an accident, and in other circumstances, it is the driver of the other vehicle who bears the blame. There are also instances where both parties contribute to the collision, which can make them both legally responsible for compensating injured victims. Many types of negligent driving could contribute to a carpool accident, but some examples include:

  • Violating traffic laws by speeding or disregarding traffic signs and signals
  • Driving while distracted by a mobile phone
  • Operating a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicating substance

Situations also can occur where a carpool or vanpool passenger is liable, such as when the clumsy or distracting passenger causes the driver to collide with another vehicle. When these types of factors contribute to a carpool accident, the complexity of pursuing legal compensation can be compounded because of the need to pursue legal claims against multiple parties as well as locating the proper insurance coverage that would apply to the incident.