What You Need to Know If Your Passenger Was Injured in an Accident

Drivers are not the only ones who risk injury on the road. Other people in the vehicle can also be hurt. If you are out riding with a friend and a collision occurs due to your negligence or that of the other driver, can your friend sue the party at fault for compensation?

Absolutely.

Just because your friend wasn’t driving the car at the time of the crash doesn’t mean that his or her injuries are any less significant. Assuming that he or she did nothing to deliberately distract you while the vehicle was in motion, he or she is entitled to compensation. It’s more a question of who is responsible for paying it.

When it comes to auto accidents, Texas is an at-fault state, meaning that the party determined to be responsible for the collision is required to compensate all injured people, both drivers and passengers. The injured parties who are not at fault will submit a claim to the at-fault party’s insurance company. Sometimes a settlement is reached without filing a lawsuit, but if litigation turns out to be necessary, the at-fault driver (which may or may not be you) will be personally named as a defendant. If this happens to you, your insurance company is legally obligated to defend you and cover any settlement or award up to your policy limits.

It sometimes happens that when a passenger pursues a claim, both drivers will be named as defendants, even though you were not at fault. This typically happens to ensure that your passenger obtains all of the compensation they are entitled to. It is usually the at-fault driver’s insurance company that ends up paying, but it is possible for the passenger to be compensated by the uninsured/underinsured motorist’s coverage on your policy even if you were not to blame.

If You Were at Fault

As stated above, if you in fact caused the accident, your passenger can sue you, but your auto insurance is structured to protect you from the financial repercussions as much as possible. The insurance company is responsible for paying claims up to your coverage limit. Depending on the extent of your passenger’s injuries, the whole recovery amount might not be covered. If this turns out to be the case, he or she could sue you directly to collect the difference. Texas has a Modified Comparative Negligence rule that prevents an injured party from recovering anything in a lawsuit if they were at least 51{e567d5ec54745fd9bde8665c28b231f91ee2028ed6aa034480ac91952ee72ee9} at fault for the accident, but this rarely applies to passengers.

If you or your passenger were injured in a Texas motor vehicle accident, contact the experienced team at the Sharp Firm today. We will give you the advice that is appropriate to your circumstances and, if you were the one hurt, advocate on your behalf for the compensation you are entitled to.

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