Rights of Passengers Injured in Georgia Car Accidents
If you are a passenger of a motor vehicle involved in a serious collision, the emotional, physical, and financial impact can be significant. While you might be rattled and worried about your rights and potential financial hardships if you are a driver, passengers can experience additional stress because they generally exercise no control over the accident. Because our Georgia Personal Injury Law Firm constantly works toward the goal of providing the best legal representation in Georgia, we are committed to helping our clients understand their legal options and obtain a desirable outcome.
Many vehicle occupants who were not driving at the time of an accident (e.g., passengers) contact us to assess their legal options after suffering injuries in a collision. Since people typically purchase insurance for "driving," some individuals we speak to are unsure of their rights as a passenger involved in a car accident.
Parties That Can Be Defendants in Auto Accident Claims Brought by Passengers
Passengers generally have more legal options than a vehicle driver and a greater likelihood of success when seeking a monetary recovery. When a passenger is injured in a motor vehicle collision, he or she should have the right to pursue a legal claim against any of the parties that the injured driver in the same vehicle could pursue, such as, among others:
• At-fault driver(s)
• Manufacturer of any of the vehicles or vehicle parts for product defects
• Municipalities or other public entities for unsafe roads
• Repair shops that perform substandard work (e.g., patching tires that should be replaced)
• Owner of the vehicle operated by the at-fault driver(s)
• Employer owning the vehicle of the at-fault drivers(s)
Passengers might have the right to pursue the driver of the car in which they were a passenger in addition to the potential defendants listed above. This right becomes extremely important if you are the passenger in a vehicle driven by the individual who is at-fault for causing the crash. If both parties were at-fault to some extent, the right to sue the driver of the car in which you were traveling also constitutes an important right.
Passengers Have a Better Chance of a Successful Car Crash Injury Claim
While a driver who is injured in a motor vehicle collision must establish that another party failed to exercise reasonable care to avoid causing harm to the injured driver, the burden to prove liability is easier for a passenger. In many accident claims, an injured driver will face allegations by the other motorist that the injured driver pursuing the legal claim was actually the party that caused the accident.
Generally, this principle is referred to as "comparative negligence," which involves the jury allocating fault between both the plaintiff and defendant. If the plaintiff is determined to be at-fault to some extent, the jury will reduce the plaintiff's recovery based on the percentage of the plaintiff's fault. Since a passenger is generally not a factor in causing an accident (except potentially under extraordinarily rare circumstances), the passenger does not have to worry about being barred from recovery or having his or her recovery reduced based on fault.
Put Our Law Firm's Over 35 Years of Legal Experience to Work For Your Case!
If you or a loved one has been injured in a traffic accident, our Atlanta Car Accident Attorneys are committed to helping our clients understand their legal rights and interests as well as obtaining the compensation they deserve. Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over thirty years, 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.