As the passenger of a vehicle, you have no control over an accident. And, if an accident occurs, you may feel helpless in the recovery process. Despite the fact you were not driving, you still have the right to a settlement for your injuries. In fact, you have a better chance of receiving a settlement before the driver.
As a passenger, even though you had no fault in causing your injuries or the injuries of other involved parties, who do you sue for your injuries?
Both Drivers May be Liable
In a car accident involving more than one driver, determining the driver at fault for the accident can be complicated. This is often an ongoing legal issue between the two drivers, unless it was obvious who caused the accident. As the passenger, you have a claim against both drivers, regardless of who is at fault.
While both parties could be held liable for your injuries, you may not be able to recover the entire amount of damages from both. Some courts may require you to hold only one driver at fault for your injuries or you may be required to wait until a party is found “at fault” before seeking a settlement.
Other Parties are Possible
There are other parties who could be held liable in addition to the drivers. In the event the accident occurred because of a manufacturer defect, you could bring a lawsuit against the car manufacturer. For example, the airbag on the passenger side failed to deploy, causing significantly more injuries. This would be a lawsuit you could file against the car manufacturer for faulty equipment. You also do not have to wait until someone is found liable for causing the accident.
Another instance is a government agency. Because cities and counties are required to maintain their roads, an accident that occurs due to inadequate maintenance means you could sue the city or county responsible, regardless of which driver caused the accident.