Passengers can get hurt from auto accidents as much as the drivers themselves. Passengers could get hurt from a series of minor to major injuries. If you or someone you know were hurt from an accident as a passenger, do you know what to do? Learn what your rights are and what to do if you were injured as a passenger.
Florida’s laws allow passengers to recover compensation for their injuries or losses resulting from a car accident through their Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. That means that you can file a claim even if you were not the one driving.
However, PIP coverage is carried only by those who own a car or drive. What happens when the passenger does not own a car or drive and, therefore, does not carry PIP insurance? In such a case, the Bodily Injury Liability insurance policy of the car you were riding should cover your compensation. This is the case since Florida is a no-fault state.
In certain cases, especially those where the other driver is 100% at-fault for the accident, then the passenger, along with the driver, may pursue them for compensation.
In summary, as the passenger, you have the right to file a claim with your insurance. If that’s not available, pursue the driver of the vehicle you are riding, and in some instances, the other driver, to recoup the costs and damages you incurred from the car accident.
Pursuing A Claim
Although your insurance should cover your expenses, it is also possible to pursue a claim against the driver’s insurance if your injuries qualify as “serious.”
• Permanent injury of an organ or body part
• Any significant limitation of a bodily function
• Bone fractures
• Injuries that lead force the injured to be on disability for least 90 days
If the passenger’s injury meets any of these qualifications, they may pursue a claim against the driver’s insurance company. Their claim should cover expenses and damages that were not covered by your PIP insurance. To pursue a claim against the driver, however, the passenger carries the burden of proving the driver’s fault or negligence.
Can A Passenger Be Found At-Fault?
Although rarely heard of, it is possible for the passenger to be found partially at-fault for the car accident. This is when the passenger:
• Refused to wear a seatbelt
• Rode with the driver knowing they were impaired
• Told the driver the road was clear when it was not
• Intentionally distracted the driver
Passengers who are guilty of any of these actions will likely be found partially at-fault, and therefore, will not be able to recoup the maximum amount of compensation. They may still get compensation, but it will be smaller.
While passengers usually have a high success rate in such instances, it is still advisable to hire an auto accident lawyer. They can help you gather and present proof of the driver’s fault or negligence. They can also help you minimize the chances of being found partially at-fault for the accident.
To make sure you get the compensation you deserve, contact your Sarasota auto accident lawyer now.
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I used Michael Babboni and his paralegal, Nicole Moore for a legal matter. They went above and beyond my expectations. During the entire process there was constant communication with both Michael and Nicole. They were extremely organized and on top of my case, which I am very grateful for. Michael truly had my best interests at heart and he was very genuine. I plan on referring Michael to all family and friends and will continue to use him in the future.
I dealt most with Mr. Fernandez. I didn’t know a lot about this process. He took the time to speak with me individually, in person, to explain everything. It was very helpful to actually know and understand the process and what to expect. He closed my case quickly, which was nice that it was not prolonged! I appreciated his hard work and getting me what I felt I deserved after my car accident. I highly recommend him to anyone who needs an honest and reliable lawyer to assist you with your case!
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