When you ride as the passenger in someone else’s vehicle, you are essentially entrusting your life to the driver. Although riding shotgun typically occurs without incident, there’s always the chance that you could end up with debilitating injuries following a serious collision.
As a passenger, you may feel especially helpless and vulnerable because you have no control over the vehicle and thus cannot react accordingly if another motorist commits a traffic violation. Unfortunately, even if you get into the car with an experienced and cautious driver, you still run the risk of getting hurt in an accident with a drunk, distracted, or otherwise reckless motorist.
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Although you and your friends may always designate a sober driver, you cannot rely on other people to do the same. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 726 traffic fatalities in Louisiana in 2015, and 245 of them occurred as the result of collisions involving impaired drivers.
If you were hurt in a collision with a reckless motorist while riding as the passenger in someone else’s vehicle, an accident lawyer from Laborde Earles Law Firm will evaluate your case, identify all liable parties, and help you make a claim for the maximum compensation. Our law firm has the highest possible rating—an AV preeminent rating—from Martindale-Hubbell. Call 800-522-6733 to schedule a free consultation with a Lafayette personal injury attorney.
What Are My Rights as a Passenger?
Motorists have a duty of care to everyone on the road around them. This includes other motorists as well as passengers, motorcycle riders, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Thus, passengers have just as much a right to file a personal injury claim against a negligent driver as other motorists and pedestrians do.
How Do Passenger Claims Differ from Other Kinds of Claims?
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When one motorist files a personal injury claim against another motorist, there is the chance that both parties were at least partially at fault, which can affect the final settlement offer. When a passenger files a claim against a reckless driver, though, he or she does not typically shoulder any of the liability. As a result, passengers can usually secure larger settlements faster than the driver of the vehicle they were in when the collision occurred.
Whom Can I File a Claim against as the Passenger in a Collision?
If you were in a single-vehicle crash, you would simply file a claim against the driver, and his or her insurance company would likely cover the damages you incurred up to a certain limit. If you were in a multi-vehicle collision, on the other hand, your attorney might advise you to file a claim against all potential drivers who could be at least partially responsible for the accident.
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may also be able to file a claim against the municipality responsible for maintaining the roads or the auto manufacturer that produced the vehicle.
If you were riding in someone else’s car when you sustained serious injuries, a personal injury attorney from Laborde Earles Law Firm will help you gather the necessary evidence to support your claim. Call 800-522-6733 to schedule a free case evaluation with an accident lawyer in Lafayette.