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Can A Passenger File A Personal Injury Claim?

Passenger Fastening His Seat Belt Stock Photo

If you drive regularly, you’re probably aware that you can receive compensation for injuries and damages resulting from a car accident. As a passenger in a car, however, you may not realize that you are entitled to similar compensations as the driver. Though the passenger doesn’t play an active role in physically maneuvering the car, the personal injuries a passenger sustains can be debilitating to an equal, if not greater, degree. When you’re embroiled in a personal injury situation, you need a skilled, trusted attorney to fight for your compensation. Harris and Graves, experienced car accident attorneys in Greenville, South Carolina, want all car passengers to know that they can receive payment for injuries they experience.

The Passenger’s Claim Is the Easiest

Passengers don’t need to fret about liability—a driver involved in the car accident is almost always liable. The passenger only needs to worry about proving that liability as well as proving the damages were sustained. In a multi-car accident, it is highly unlikely that none of the involved drivers are liable. In a one-car accident, the driver operating the car is usually liable, though there are exceptions when uncontrollable events (such as a rockslide) occur.  

How Does a Passenger Go About Filing a Claim?

Passengers and drivers must file personal injury claims in the same way, with an important exception for the passengers. If the accident includes two or more cars, the passenger should file a claim against all drivers involved, whereas a driver would not file a claim against him or herself. Passengers should get the insurance information of all the drivers and then contact the individual insurance companies of each driver to submit a claim. If one driver is clearly not at fault—for instance, if one driver was rear-ended—a passenger shouldn’t waste his or her time filing a claim with that driver’s insurance company.

An injured passenger should seek immediate medical care for any injuries. Once the medical care is finished, an insurance settlement can be reached between the injured and liable parties. In cases involving multiple drivers, it is crucial to have an experienced attorney negotiating on your behalf. That attorney will need to work with both drivers’ insurance companies in order to get you a fair compensation.

When a Passenger’s Claim May Not Be Easy to Settle

Multiple-car accidents can create a delay in a passenger receiving just compensation. Sometimes, the case will go to trial, and the jury will decide which liable party owes what percentage of compensation to the injured party. Just because the jury decides on a percentage of fault doesn’t mean the insurance companies have to agree.

If one company believes their client to be less at fault than the jury designates, that company can continue arguing with the other insurance companies over percentage of liability. The passenger then has to wait for one of the companies to fold and agree to pay their full percentage of liability. This means a passenger could be delayed in receiving the money he or she is entitled to, and in cases of injuries, delayed compensation can cause massive inconveniences in paying medical bills. In these cases, you will definitely want an aggressive attorney battling for you. Harris and Graves can provide you with dedicated, relentless representation.

Find a Greenville Personal Injury Attorney

Harris and Graves are the attorneys to call in any personal injury case in Greenville, South Carolina. They are trusted, high-caliber Greenville personal injury attorneys, and they won’t stop fighting until you get your fair compensation. Contact Harris & Graves, today.