When you’ve suffered injuries in a car accident as a driver, you know you have the right to compensation. However, if you’ve suffered injuries as a passenger, does that right to compensation remain? What exactly are your rights as an injured passenger in a car accident? Many people don’t know that the rights of an injured passenger are similar to the rights of an injured driver. Passengers who better understand their rights and the personal injury process are more likely to obtain better settlement results. This blog will go over the rights you have as a passenger and what factors play into the situation.
Passengers Have the Right to Compensation
Passengers have the same rights to compensation as a driver. A San Diego car accident firm can help you file a lawsuit if the responsible driver’s insurance company refuses to pay. The rights you’re entitled to include:
- Lost Wages – Car accident victims many times lose their homes, cars, and other types of personal property due to the lost wages from their injuries. California law allows accident victims to recover lost wages when another party was responsible for the accident.
- Compensation for Medical Bills – You can seek compensation for injuries, including doctor’s bills, diagnostics tests, emergency services, surgical expenses, in-patient care, physical therapy, chiropractic care, medications, and more.
- Pain & Suffering – California Law provides for the recovery of pain and suffering and other non-economic damages such as:
- Physical pain
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of society & companionship
- Loss of reputation
Who Caused the Accident?
The amount of compensation you receive greatly depends on who caused the accident and how much liability insurance and personal assets are available. Below we’ll go over how different types of drivers alter the situation and the results.
- The Driver of Your Car Caused the Accident – If the driver of the car you were in caused the accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Whether it was a one-vehicle or multiple-vehicle accident doesn’t matter. You can seek compensation through the driver’s car insurance policy – oftentimes even during treatment if the driver had a medical payments plan on their policy at the time of the accident.
- The Driver of Another Car Caused the Accident – Both you, the passenger, and the driver can seek compensation for the accident caused by another driver.
- An Uninsured/Underinsured Driver Caused the Accident – If the driver that caused the accident is underinsured, their insurance company will pay up to the available limits. The insurance company of the vehicle you were in will have to pay for the rest, and then your personal auto policy (if applicable) would be last in line to pay if necessary. If you get injured by an uninsured/underinsured driver, it’s smart to get the assistance of a San Diego car accident lawyer for assistance to iron out all the details.
Can Multiple-Person Injuries Reduce Compensation?
There are many car insurance companies that provide split liability limits, such as $15/30/5 – California’s minimum limits. In this case, up to $15k in liability can be paid to one person—$ 30k paid to two or more people, and $5k for property damage. If four passengers were injured in a car accident, according to this policy, they would have to divide the maximum of $30k by four.
Knowing your rights as an injured passenger in a car accident is essential. While having a basic understanding is valuable, every situation is different. This can make getting compensation a difficult process if you’re alone. That’s why it’s always an intelligent decision to get the assistance of an experienced San Diego car accident lawyer. If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident as a driver, passenger, or pedestrian, Bonnici Law group can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact Bonnici Law Group today by giving us a call at (619) 259-5199 or contacting us via our website. Our team will protect your rights and fight for you throughout the entire legal process!