What Are Your Rights as a Passenger in a Car Accident? Most if not all of the time you have a claim against either your driver or the driver of the other vehicle who may or may not be completely responsible for your damages as a passenger. Obviously in a single vehicle crash your claim is against the driver of the car in which you were a passenger.
I had a case once where both the driver and my client the passenger were drunk. The insurance adjuster argues that the claim should be denied because my client got into the car knowing his friend the driver was drunk. I successfully argued that was not a bar to the driver’s negligence when he crashed the car into a phone pole and I was able to recover money for my client.
As a passenger involved in a car accident, you have as much right as the driver to recover compensation for your injuries and losses. It is important to understand these rights so that you are adequately compensated for your medical bills, lost wages, and other accident-related expenses.
A passenger in a Vermont car crash can pursue a claim for all of her or his damages including payment of medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, emotional distress, permanent impairment and lost of enjoyment of the daily activities of life.
In situations where only one of the drivers involved was entirely at fault for the accident, it can be relatively simple to prove. However, fault is not always so black and white. If another party was partially responsible for the accident, under Vermont’s law of comparative negligence, the distribution of fault and who pays for the injured party’s damages may be split between two different parties.
Statute of Limitations
Vermont’s statute of limitations sets a time limit on how long you have to file your claim. In most cases, you, as the injured party, have three years from the date of the accident, to file a legal claim for your injuries. If you are past that time limit, you may be barred from pursuing a legal claim for your injuries.
It is important to seek immediate medical treatment and speak with an experienced Vermont auto accident attorney as soon as possible after the crash, particularly if you have suffered serious injury as a result. Many people believe you should call the insurance company first before speaking with an attorney, and while it is important to report the accident to your insurance company- insurance companies do not have a duty to act in your best interest (even your own insurance company). Only an attorney must act in your best interest. By contacting an attorney, you can make sure you get compensated fairly for your injuries and damage sustained to your vehicle. Please call David Polow today at 802-888-7707 for a free consultation.