Unfortunately, when a car accident occurs, multiple people are often affected. The driver of both vehicles and their passengers can all suffer from various injuries. As a passenger, you may feel your right to pursue compensation is limited because you were not the operator of the vehicle, but this is simply untrue. Passengers are able to pursue separate litigation against the driver of the other vehicle and their insurance coverage. Knowing your rights as a passenger is the first step to justice. A Colorado Springs personal injury lawyer will be able to consult you on your options in these cases. Here are some of the ways a passenger can pursue compensation for a car accident.
In car accidents that involve multiple vehicles, you may be confused about who was at fault. For litigation purposes, you can consider all operators of the vehicles involved. Typically, every driver is required to have liability insurance which protects them when they cause an accident. You can even seek litigation against the operator of the vehicle you were riding in when the accident occurred, under certain circumstances.
When you do file, be aware that some states implement a no-fault clause which means that passengers have to file a no-fault claim. Personal injury protection (PIP), or no-fault claims, require your auto or medical insurance provider to cover your medical costs and loss wages.
In a car accident that involves more than one passenger, all passengers are able to file a claim against the negligent parties. If they file a claim against one party and their settlement exceeds the driver’s insurance policy, then they will be compensated for less money than their case is worth.
They can choose to file separately or jointly, but they must agree on the settlement amount.
What if You’re Related to The Driver?
If you happen to be related to and cohabiting with the driver of the vehicle you were injured in, then you may not be able to file a claim against the driver’s insurance policy. You are presumed to be insured under the driver’s policy, which would mean you are filing against yourself, which you can’t do.
Pursuing a liability claim is different from pursuing a personal injury claim. In a liability claim, you are asserting that someone’s recklessness is responsible for an injury. You cannot file a liability claim against your insurance policy because that would mean that you are taking full responsibility for your injury.
Med Pay Coverage
Med pay is a no-fault insurance claim that covers the cost of your medical bills and expenses while you wait for your case to be resolved. Many auto insurance policies carry a med pay stipulation but most people are unaware of it.
Med pay may seem like a great option, but it usually does not cover all of your medical expenses. The maximum claims amount is $10,000, in most cases. If you need more coverage, you can pursue other claims in conjunction with med pay to cover the complete cost of your injury. Just be sure that your rewards don’t exceed the total value of the damages.
Working Alongside a Colorado Springs Personal Injury Lawyer
Since 2003, the state of Colorado requires fault to be determined before an insurance company can pay a claim, which means the state is not a no-fault state. As a passenger involved in a car accident, you can pursue a liability claim against the negligent parties responsible for your injury. Victims in Colorado need a Colorado Springs personal injury lawyer from Heuser & Heuser to litigate their case. At our practice, we have a special one-on-one consultation with clients to best understand the facts of your case. We work with you to fight for the justice and the settlement you deserve. Call us today to schedule a free case review.