Passenger Car Accident Injury Claims: What Vehicle Occupants Should Know


April 19, 2015

If you are injured while you are a passenger in a motor vehicle, you generally face fewer obstacles in terms of establishing liability in order to have the potential to obtain 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 arising out of a car accident require that the passenger  establish include liability (fault), causation and damages (severity of injury).

The basis of liability will depend on the type of accident. When the incident involves a two-vehicle collision, one of the drivers will usually be at-fault for causing the accident. Since the passenger has no role in driving either vehicle, occupants who are not driving do not necessarily need to worry about which driver is determined to be at-fault. However, differences in the amount of insurance coverage available to each driver might make this issue important.

When the crash is a one-vehicle collision, such as running into a tree, the driver typically will be at-fault. Generally, when a driver slams into a fixed object, he or she typically did something or failed to do something that caused the collision. It is important to understand there can be exceptions. If a driver swerves into another vehicle to avoid hitting a child who suddenly darts into the street, this might be a situation where a driver is not liable.

The process of pursuing a passenger injury claim is similar to that involving typical car accidents with the exception that both drivers might be liable for a two-vehicle crash. Just as with an accident claim involving two vehicles, third party liability also should be considered (where someone other than the driver(s) of the vehicle might have liablity in addition to the driver). Potential responsible third parties might include any of the following:

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

When a passenger is injured in an Atlanta car accident, the best practice is to obtain insurance and driver's license information for both drivers if possible. Sometimes passengers make a judgment to only obtain information from the driver of the other vehicle because they assume the driver of the other vehicle is responsible for causing the crash. However, this preliminary determination of fault can be inaccurate, so obtaining information from both drivers is advised.

Put Montlick & Associates' Over 30 Years of Legal Experience to Work For Your Georgia Accident Case

Contact Montlick & Associates for your free consultation to learn how we can help you recover all the compensation you deserve. For more than 30 years, the Atlanta Auto Accident Lawyers at Montlick & Associates have made it their goal to be the top personal injury law firm in Atlanta and throughought Georgia.

Montlick and Associates has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast since 1984, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and 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.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.