Can Passengers File Personal Injury Lawsuits?
Passengers who have been injured in an automobile accident in Florida have two distinct advantages:
- They don’t have to worry about being found to be liable. One or more of the drivers in the accident will be responsible for damages.
- They don’t have to worry about being intoxicated. Drunk driving laws, by definition, mean you must be driving. There is no law against drunk riding.
If you have been involved as a passenger and suffered a personal injury in Tallahassee, contact a Tallahassee car accident lawyer at Searcy Denney for help.
If any passenger is injured in an automobile accident, the passenger is entitled, under Florida law, to full reimbursement for all medical treatment, lost income, and other expenses stemming from the accident and injury, similar to non-fault drivers.
An injured passenger will be considered a plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit. Therefore, he or she will have to show that a driver was negligent and that the negligence was the direct cause of the accident and therefore liable for the passenger’s injuries.
In an accident involving two or more vehicles, at least one of the drivers will probably be found negligent. In a single-car accident, it’s generally evident that only one driver may be negligent. However, in some rare accidents, there is no negligence. For example, suppose a deer darts suddenly across the roadway, and a driver runs off the road to avoid it and hits a tree. In that case, there’s probably nothing else the driver could have done differently, so typically no negligence and therefore no liability would be found.
Should an Injured Passenger File a Claim?
A passenger’s injury claim is very similar to any other auto accident claim, except that the passenger may need to make a claim against both drivers in a two-car accident or all drivers in a multi-car accident. The passenger should obtain insurance contact information for both motorists and file a claim with each insurance company. There may be an exception where one driver is negligent and the other is not, such as a driver crashing into the rear of a second vehicle legally stopped at a stop sign.
However, suppose the collision happened in a no-fault state like Florida. In that case, the passenger should file a personal injury protection (PIP) or no-fault claim against the at-fault driver to compensate the passenger for accident-related medical bills and lost earnings. When the fault is apparent, most accident claims are settled relatively easily, but complicated cases can be challenging to settle.
In any event, if you are a passenger who has been injured in an automobile accident, you should first contact a Tallahassee car accident lawyer at Searcy Denney before contacting even your own insurance company. Automobile accidents can become very complicated very quickly, and your insurance company does not necessarily have your best interests in mind. However, your lawyer is on your side and your side only.
Contact a Tallahassee Car Accident Lawyer for Help with Your Claims
If you are a passenger who has suffered personal injuries in an automobile accident, you need to protect your interests from the very beginning. Contact a Tallahassee car accident lawyer at Searcy Denney if you need help. We offer a free consultation and work on a contingency fee basis. If you need us, contact us online today.