Can You Claim Damages as the Passenger in a Car Accident?
Car accidents are upsetting for every individual involved. Whether you were at fault or there was nothing you could have done to avoid what took place, you’re going to need to pick up the pieces and resume your life. That’s going to involve speaking to insurance companies, getting your vehicle repaired, and seeking out medical attention if that’s necessary.
But what if you were a passenger in an accident instead of the driver? It’s possible for you to seek damages from the other driver, and expect to have a chance of winning your suit. There are many aspects of the situation that must be considered if that’s what you are thinking about doing.
Were You Hurt?
Generally speaking, if you suffered no physical injuries in the accident, then it’s going to be hard for you to win a suit against the other driver. You can claim that the damage was emotional or psychological, and a victory is not impossible, but it will be challenging.
If you suffered injuries, though, it’s likely that you’re going to have a winnable case against the other driver. You can protect yourself with an injury attorney in such situations if you can locate one that has dealt with such claims before and has a history of winning them.
Was the Other Driver Negligent?
If the other driver wasn’t engaged in reckless behavior, then you have less chance of winning your suit against them. For example, if the accident happened because the other vehicle skidded on the ice in a storm, then that is not going to be considered reckless behavior on the driver’s part.
However, if the other driver was drunk, under the influence of illegal drugs, or they were driving dangerously or erratically, then you have a much better chance of winning your claim.
Were There Other Mitigating Factors?
If you can establish that the other driver was speaking on their cell phone or texting, then you have a legitimate shot at getting back some damages. There are some other circumstances where you have a shot at winning your claim as well.
You will have to consult with a lawyer, though, and present all the facts of what happened. If they are familiar with this type of law, then they can advise you as to whether you ought to pursue the matter further or whether it’s a waste of your time.
Is Your Claim Worth Pursuing?
Ultimately, if you were frightened by what happened but not physically harmed, then it’s probably in your best interest to forget it and try to get back to your life. If you were hurt, though, and it’s affecting your life moving forward, then you should try and hold the other driver accountable.
That’s especially true if reckless behavior on their part was clearly what led to the accident. If that’s what happened, then as either the passenger or driver in the other vehicle, you should be able to seek justice for what occurred.