What Are My Rights as a Passenger in a Car Accident?
When you are riding in a car, you do not have to worry about complying with traffic laws. You can text as much as you want or even be intoxicated without violating the law. However, while you are relaxing in the passenger seat, your driver or someone else might be negligent and cause a serious crash.
If you suffer injuries in a car accident as a passenger, what are your rights? Since you didn’t cause the accident, do you have to be responsible for your medical bills and other losses? The answers to these questions can be complicated and will depend on your specific circumstances. The following is some general information about passenger rights, but to discuss your individual options, contact a Boca Raton car accident lawyer directly.
In Florida, we have no-fault insurance that covers injuries from car accidents. Every vehicle owner is required to have minimum personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. PIP insurance aims to limit adversarial cases by providing benefits to injured crash victims, no matter who caused the accident.
There are different PIP options following injuries to passengers:
- If you have PIP insurance for yourself, it will provide coverage for injuries you suffer as a passenger in your or another vehicle.
- If you do not own a car - and, therefore, do not have PIP insurance - coverage carried by a household member with PIP insurance should cover your medical expenses.
- If no one in your family has PIP insurance that covers you, the PIP coverage of the driver whose vehicle you were in should provide coverage.
PIP coverage is generally sufficient for relatively minor injuries that resulted in minimal losses. However, these policy limits are low, and many injured accident victims have medical bills and other losses that exceed PIP coverage. What are your options then?
Most car accidents can be traced back to a negligent party who caused the crash. These might include:
- The driver of the car you were in
- Another driver
- A non-driver, such as a manufacturer who sold defective tires, and the tire blowout caused the accident
A lawyer can assess who was responsible for causing your crash, as this should be the party who is liable for your excess losses. Sometimes, more than one party might have contributed to the accident.
For severe injuries that result in extensive losses, you can file a claim with the liable party’s insurance company. Your attorney will negotiate with the insurer for the full amount you deserve to cover your medical costs, lost income, and other losses. If you cannot get a suitable settlement offer from the insurer, your lawyer can file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court.
Consult with Trusted Boca Raton Car Accident Attorneys
At the law firm of Demand the Limits, Personal Injury Attorneys, we help all types of car accident victims, including injured passengers. If you need assistance, please contact us online or call 561-600-3555 to learn how a Boca Raton car accident attorney can help.