Filing a Car Accident Claim as a Passenger
While drivers often are the ones to file personal injury claims after being involved in an auto accident, passengers may also be entitled to legal action against the at-fault party. However, many people may not be aware of their right as a passenger to recover compensation after being injured in a car accident.
Below, Roden Law’s experienced Savannah car accident lawyers discuss the rights of passengers who are injured in car accidents. If you believe your car accident was caused by the negligence of another driver, contact us as soon as possible. We will provide you a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your right to pursue compensation for your medical expenses, loss of income, and pain and suffering.
Who Is Liable?
Georgia uses a fault-based car insurance system, which means you will need to file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company to obtain compensation after a car accident.
You will need to determine which party is liable for causing the car accident. However, this can become complicated if several vehicles were involved in the collision.
A single-vehicle accident occurs when a driver hits a stationary object, such as a parked car, tree or light pole. A single-vehicle accident is almost always the fault of the vehicle's driver. This type of crash is typically caused by driver negligence, either due to distraction, impairment or recklessly driving the vehicle.
In this situation, a passenger involved in single-vehicle car accident will need to file a claim with the driver’s insurance company to recover compensation for his or her injuries.
Liability is usually not as clear when multiple vehicles are involved in an auto accident. Before you can recover compensation for the accident, you will need to prove which driver was at fault for the accident.
Typically, accidents are caused by some type of negligent behavior or not following traffic rules. For example, the accident may have been caused by:
- Distracted driving
- Impaired driving
- Failing to obey traffic signals or signs
- Following too closely
- Failing to yield
- Losing focus of surrounding traffic or roadway hazards
An experienced lawyer can review the driving behaviors of each party and determine which one may be liable for the accident.
What If More Than One Party is at Fault?
In many car accidents, more than one driver can be at fault for the collision. If more than one driver is found at fault for a car accident, Georgia’s comparative negligence law is used to determine which party is more responsible for causing the crash.
Under comparative negligence, the actions of each driver are examined to determine which one was more negligent. Each driver is assigned a percentage of fault based on his or her own negligence.
This percentage determines the amount of compensation each driver owes the injured passenger. For example, you sustained $100,000 in damages. By using comparative negligence, the driver of your vehicle is found 20 percent at fault and the other driver is found 80 percent at fault. This means the driver of your vehicle must pay $20,000, while the driver of the other vehicle would owe you $80,000.
Whose Insurer Will Compensate Me?
Typically, you will need to file a personal injury claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to recover compensation after a car accident. If two or more drivers are at fault for the car accident, you will need to file a claim with both drivers’ insurance companies.
Alternatively, you can file a claim with your own insurance company, and it can then seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Roden Law
If you believe that one or more drivers’ negligence caused your accident, do not hesitate to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. You have a limited amount of time to file a claim, and waiting too long may result in you being denied the compensation you need.
During your free consultation with a trusted Savannah personal injury lawyer at Roden Law, he or she will inform you of which parties could be held liable for your auto accident. We will review the legal options available to you to help you recover maximum compensation for your injuries.
All of our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means we will represent your claim at no upfront cost. We only charge our clients if we recover compensation for their claim. There is no risk in contacting us to find out if you have a case.