Passenger accident claims in car accidents are often less complicated because a passenger does not have to prove liability.
In the case of an accident involving two vehicles, at least one of the drivers would likely be held responsible. In any given accident, the common rule is that one of the drivers’ actions (or inaction) amount to negligence, which caused the accident. There are always some exceptions, like a deer crossing the road abruptly and causing a car accident. Such unavoidable circumstances do not amount to negligence.
How to File a Passenger Accident Claim
A passenger accident claim is just like any other claim. In accidents involving two cars, the passenger can file a claim against both drivers. The passenger should get insurance information from both drivers involved in the accident.
There are, however, some cases where one of the drivers is negligent and the other is not. In such cases, a passenger accident claim is filed against the negligent driver only. If neither driver is found to be at fault, the passenger can file a No Fault Claim or Personal Injury Protection (PIP) against the driver to get compensation for their medical expenses and lost wages. The case should generally be settled after completion of medical treatment.
If both drivers are found liable, the passenger or his lawyer may have to negotiate with both the insurance companies. Most of these cases are amicably settled, however there are always some instances where it doesn’t go so quickly or easily. The services of an experienced car accident lawyer prove to be invaluable in these instances.
Standoff Between Parties in Accidents Involving Two Cars
This is a case where both drivers are at fault. This can lead to a battle on settling liability. For instance, one insurer may argue that it’s driver was less responsible for causing the accident. Since neither of the insurance companies are willing to admit liability, a dispute arises. In the process, a lot of time is lost and justice is delayed.
When the case comes for hearing, the jury makes the final decision. Decisions are often 50/50 responsibility or a possible 75/25 responsibility. The first decision means that both insurance companies will provide equal compensation. The second means that the insurance company found more responsible pays 75% of the amount while the other pays 25%.
Accidents Involving More Than One Passenger
Where more than two passengers are involved, the driver’s insurance company may not settle any claims. Settling the claim gets complicated if the passengers’ claim exceeds the insurance amount of the driver or the passengers are unwilling to share the offered amount among themselves. When there is a standoff, the insurer cannot settle any of the passenger’s individual claims and the passengers may have to file a suit to settle the share.
St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer
At The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. we understand the pain and frustration individuals feel after being involved in a car accident. Victims need answers and compensation so they can move on with their lives and focus on recovery.
If you have been involved in an accident, contact our law firm to schedule a Free Consultation by calling (314) 361-4242 or by filling out our Online Contact Form. We can help you file a passenger accident claim and get you the compensation you are entitled to under Missouri law.
photo credit: Derek Bridges via Flickr