5 Lies You’ve Been Told About Passenger’s Rights
The idea of passenger’s rights is as misunderstood as it is important. When you ride in a car with another person, and an accident happens, you — as a passenger — have rights. Unfortunately, many of us have been lied to by television and the movies, and have some ideas about being a passenger that just aren’t so.
5. Bringing A Lawsuit Means You’re Suing Your Friend
A lot of injured passengers are hesitant to even consult with an attorney, because they don’t want to take their friend to court. Fortunately, that’s not what you’re doing. You’re actually suing their insurance company. While your friend might be a wonderful person, their insurance company is going to trip over themselves to make sure you get as little compensation as possible. You won’t have to sit in a courtroom across from your best pal and call them a negligent driver. More than likely, your lawyer will hash things out with the insurance company’s lawyers while you focus on resting up and getting better. You can stay friends, it’s ok.
4. Your Friend Will Handle The Investigation, You Just Sit Tight
This is never a good idea. You’re hurt, you’re the one who will have to submit information to your attorney, and you’re the one who needs care. If your driver friend is gathering names and contact information of the involved parties and witnesses — you get a copy of that information too. You get to decide whether the first responders look you over or not — which you absolutely should ask for. Don’t let someone else “handle things” for you. You’re entitled to these decisions.
3. If Your Friend Offers To Pay For Your Injuries, You’re All Set
Your friend doesn’t want their premiums to go up, so they offer to cover everything. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, right? While you’re at it, why not invest all of your life savings in Powerball tickets; because that’s about as reliable. Do this and you’re entering into a handshake agreement over what might be lifelong, crippling injuries. Nothing is stopping your friend from deciding your injuries are too expensive and telling you to kick rocks. In fact, your friend probably has no idea what it costs to recover from an injury like this, and the odds are good they’ll back out. Just go through insurance and call your attorney — the odds are in your favor.
2. You Can Be Held Liable In The Accident
No matter how loudly you were cranking out Adele from the backseat, as a passenger you cannot be held in any way liable for any accident. The only people that share any sort of fault in an accident are the people behind the wheel — that’s it. You cannot be found in any way negligent, and if your friend tries to tell you anything different; they’re completely wrong. You’re simply along for the ride in this situation. If you’re injured, that’s why your friend and the other drivers carry insurance. Your bad karaoke of “Hello” didn’t cause the accident, no matter what you’re told.
1. You Only Have Passenger Rights When You’re In A Car
Stop and think about that for a moment. Does that make sense? Why wouldn’t you have rights while you’re riding in someone’s boat? Or airplane? Or any vehicle, for that matter. Of course you do. If your good friend Chad is driving the party boat at Lake Havasu, Chad still has to accept responsibility for his passengers. People who own airplanes, boats, or other vehicles are required to keep insurance on those, just as they would a car. And for the exact same reasons.
If you’ve been injured as a passenger, you have rights! It’s important to speak to a lawyer immediately following your accident. Use our form below to contact one of our lawyers who can review your case.