How Much Money Can a Passenger in a Car Accident Get?

How Much Money Can a Passenger in a Car Accident Get?

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How Much Money Can a Passenger in a Car Accident Get?

When you're a passenger in a car accident, you have no control over how the accident plays out because it's literally out of your hands. That feeling of helplessness may even extend to wondering how much money can a passenger in a car accident get afterward. Are you able to make a claim for compensation even if you're not insured?

You should know that passengers have just as much right to file a claim for compensation as do the drivers and owners of vehicles, even if you're not paying the insurance premiums. The expert lawyers at Morgan and Morgan can work to recover compensation for your injuries, and it won't cost you a thing unless we negotiate a successful deal on your behalf. 

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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

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  • How Can a Lawyer Help if I'm Injured as a Passenger in a Car Accident?

    Suppose you're injured as a passenger in a car accident. In that case, you may need to file your own separate claim against the other party who caused the accident. On the other hand, you may need to file a claim against the person who was driving the vehicle you were in if they were responsible for the collision.

    Your personal injury lawyer at Morgan and Morgan will work to collect the evidence needed to go after the responsible party. Sometimes, it's not just the fault of a driver, though. There are occasionally other factors that can contribute to an accident. In these instances, there may be multiple parties to sue for compensation. Here are a few examples:

    A mechanical failure - If we uncover evidence of a mechanical failure in either party's vehicle that contributed to the cause of the accident, you'll likely have reason to make a claim against the auto or parts manufacturer.

    Vehicle owners are responsible for maintaining their vehicles to ensure they are roadworthy, including performing routine maintenance. However, if a faulty part was the root cause of the accident, the auto parts or auto manufacturer may be held fully or partially liable for your injuries.

    Liability for mechanical failure can also be extended to mechanics that perform shoddy work. If a faulty part wasn't discovered during an inspection or repairs made were subpar, making the vehicle dangerous to drive, the mechanic may have some culpability. That's why national chains like Discount Tire make you sign a liability waiver if they recommend you get new tires and you decline even though the tires are bald. They don't want to be legally responsible if one of your tires blows out or you can't stop properly.

    A negligent employer - Commercial drivers are the backbone of the supply chain, and the roadways are filled with them. Commercial drivers are also responsible for local deliveries and picking up passengers to drive them to their destinations, like Lyft and Uber. Anytime you're on the road, dozens of commercial drivers are likely within the vicinity.

    Drivers of these vehicles have their responsibility and can be held liable for any injuries they cause. Still, their employer may also have liability if they're negligent in their duties. Here are some examples that could potentially lead to an employer's liability:

    • The employer failed to do a background check on a driver with DUIs or dangerous moving violations
    • The employer required the driver to operate a vehicle that was unsafe or drive in unsafe conditions, such as while under the influence of prescription drugs that warn against driving.
    • An employer keeps a driver employed that they know has been the cause of previous accidents or demonstrates dangerous driving behavior.
    • The employer makes the driver work hours behind the wheel beyond what is federally mandated or reasonable for the expectation of safety.
    • The employer fails to properly maintain the vehicle resulting in it being dangerous to drive.

    Failure at the government level - Towns and municipalities may have liability if there is some sort of issue with the integrity of the street, traffic signals, or the road's design where the accident occurred. However, it's important to understand that when suing a government entity, the rules are far more complex. Additionally, the deadline to initiate any legal action is significantly shorter than in a regular civil suit.

    When you ask how much money a passenger in a car accident can get, it's essential to identify all the potential parties that may be involved. With the help and investigatory skills of a Morgan and Morgan attorney, your compensation could be significantly increased by going after multiple parties.

  • How Does a Lawyer Figure Out How Much Money Is Fair Compensation After a Car Accident?

    Figuring out how much money to ask for is a critical skill of any lawyer. Generally, we will look at a few factors, including your financial and emotional losses and the liable party's ability to pay. Insurance can only pay up to the limits of the policy, and an individual may not have any assets worth pursuing. Let's take a look at how to calculate losses:

    Medical expenses - As everyone knows, medical costs can be astronomical, even with medical insurance. Luckily, you'll have the opportunity to seek compensation for these expenses through an insurance claim against the at-fault parties.

    It's critical to seek medical care after a car accident for two reasons. Most important is your well-being. A few types of injuries may not be apparent directly after an accident. Still, they can have devastating consequences if not treated promptly. The second reason is that the bulk of your claim will likely be based on medical costs, which may include the ambulance service, the emergency room visit, hospitalization, surgery, scans, X-rays, medication, after-care visits, rehabilitation, and more.

    Getting the appropriate medical treatment can be extensive and expensive. However, during your treatment, it's essential to keep track of all the costs so you can reclaim it through the other party's insurance or through a lawsuit.

    Lost wages - Passengers in a car accident may not be able to return to work for some time, or if injuries are severe enough, they may be permanently disabled and can never go back to work. Lost time from work means lost wages, and you should be able to recover compensation for it regardless of the extent of your injuries.

    Another factor is lost income capacity. Even if you recover from your injuries, you may not be able to perform the same kind of work you did previously, which may present a difference in your income level. For example, suppose you're the head chef at a fine dining restaurant. During the accident, you suffered a spinal injury and can no longer stand for long periods of time, which is essential in restaurant work. You might be forced to change careers and take a position that doesn't pay as well as the chef job. In that case, you should be eligible to recover compensation for the difference.

    Your job type will also impact how quickly you can return to work. A physically demanding job will require more time off to recover to the level where you'll be able to put in a hard day's work. Even if you work a desk job, it may be a while before you can tolerate sitting for long periods, especially if you sustained injuries to your neck, back, or lower body.

    You can also recover compensation for lost wages if you take time off work to attend medical appointments.

    Pain and suffering - Most "costs" associated with an accident come with a receipt that can easily be turned over to the other party to pay. However, pain and suffering is a legitimate cost that is exacted from your ability to enjoy your life. Injuries are usually painful at the time they are sustained, and so is recovery. You may be unable to return to your normal routines and participate in activities that once brought pleasure. Not all injuries are physical in nature. Serious accidents can also cause emotional trauma, which may require counseling or psychiatric treatment. Your injuries may even impact personal relationships. All of these "costs" are relevant and should be compensated accordingly.

  • Who Is at Fault for the Accident?

    Another thing to consider when coming up with a figure for fair compensation is who was responsible for the accident. Responsible parties have to carry insurance, but the minimum requirement for bodily injury coverage varies by state. Likewise, suppose you live in a state that has no-fault insurance laws. In that case, you must try to get compensation through the personal injury protection insurance of the owner of the car in which you sustained injuries. You can step out from behind no-fault insurance law if your injuries are substantial in no-fault states. However, the specifications for doing this are exact. A Morgan and Morgan attorney can clarify the facts and look for the evidence needed to substantiate your claim of severe injuries.

  • How Many People Were Injured in the Accident?

    Insurance laws have minimum requirements for bodily injury coverage. Still, these minimums max out on the total coverage for everyone injured. For example, in California, drivers must carry $15,000 in coverage for injury or death to one person and $30,000 for injury or death to more than one person. If there are multiple people injured, there may not be enough insurance money to go around, and we would have to look for other means of compensation.

  • What Happens if My Insurance Claim Gets Denied as a Passenger in a Car Accident?

    While a significant share of claims is resolved successfully through negotiation, sometimes, a lawsuit is the only remedy in difficult cases. This is often the only option if you're flat-out denied without good reason or if there are questions of liability. If you're wondering how much money a passenger in a car accident gets and haven't talked to an attorney, now is the time to do it.

    Victims of car accidents need to be aware of time limits for filing claims and lawsuits. Insurance carriers usually have their own deadlines to file a claim or risk denial of payment. Likewise, the courts have deadlines for filing a lawsuit which is called the statute of limitations. Every state has its own laws that dictate timelines for different types of civil cases.

    Once a lawsuit is filed, negotiation efforts will continue up to and including when the trial begins. When you work with Morgan and Morgan Law Firm, we bring skills, expertise, and valuable resources to the table. Our number one priority is making sure our clients receive the maximum amount of compensation possible. If you're having trouble negotiating a fair settlement on your own or think you may need to go to trial, contact Morgan and Morgan today for a free case evaluation.

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“I was in a difficult situation when I was injured by a faulty product. I was hesitant to seek legal help but with the help of Morgan & Morgan, they made the process easy. They took immediate action and got me the compensation I deserved. I couldn't have done it without them. I highly recommend their services.” Estate of Patricia Allen v. RJ Reynolds, et al. | 2014

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