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Can I still make a claim if I’m a passenger in the car whose driver is at-fault?


Car accident witness giving statement to a policeman, victim in the background, panorama.

As a passenger in a vehicle, you’re relying on the driver to get you to the end point safely. However, accidents do happen. When a mistake is made and you’re involved in a car accident, you may find yourself dealing with some serious – and expensive – injuries.

We most commonly talk about drivers filing personal injury claims against a responsible party after a car accident. But what about the passengers who are hurt in the collision?

If you’ve recently been injured as a passenger in a car crash, you’re probably wondering what kind of claim you can make. With high medical bills racking up and an inability to go to work, you’re likely looking for compensation to help with the recovery process, but you’re not sure who to file the claim with.

As a passenger, you have a few different pathways to getting compensation depending on your unique situation. Here are a few things you need to keep in mind if you’re looking to file a personal injury claim as a passenger.

Q: Can You File a Claim with Your Driver?

A: When you get in a vehicle with a driver, that driver becomes responsible for your safety. If that driver makes a mistake that leads to an accident and your injury, they will be responsible for using their insurance to cover your expenses.

On the driver’s insurance policy, they should have a portion of coverage designated to injured passengers. You can file a claim against the driver you were riding with and get the compensation you need for medical expenses and lost wages.

Unfortunately, this section of insurance is frequently low. If you have serious injuries, it may not be enough to cover your medical expenses.

Q: Can I File a Claim with the Other Driver?

A: If the driver of the vehicle you were riding in is completely at fault, you may not be able to file a claim against the other driver’s insurance policy. However, if both drivers share the fault for the accident, you do have the right to submit a claim for passenger injury insurance.

However, in order to get money from the other driver’s insurance, you may need to prove that they had fault in the accident. This will require evidence, witness testimony, and more. A personal injury attorney can help you gather this information and build a strong case around it.

Q: Can I Sue a Driver for Additional Coverage?

A: If you have serious injuries, you may want to sue the responsible driver for more money. While this process can be long and challenging, it is often quite rewarding – especially if you’re looking at long-term care or treatment for your injuries.

Whether or not you can pursue a claim will depend on your relation to the driver. If the driver is an immediate family member, you may be considered an insured individual on their policy. In this case, you would not be able to sue for additional money.

If the driver was a friend, co-worker, or extended family member, you do have the right to file a suit to get additional compensation. If you choose to go down this path, you will want to seek the assistance of a personal injury attorney.

Q: Is a Passenger Ever Considered At-Fault?

A: As a passenger, you are typically not responsible for the accident, meaning you can receive full compensation regardless of who is found at-fault for the accident. However, there are a few situations where a driver’s insurance policy may decide to dismiss your claim.

If you get in the vehicle with a driver you know is under the influence, you may not have the right to receive compensation for your injuries. While you are not considered at-fault for the accident, you are also held responsible for your decision to get in a car with a driver you knew was incapable of driving safely.

Talk with a personal injury attorney if you’ve been injured because your driver was under the influence, especially if you got in the vehicle without knowing they had been drinking. A professional legal team can help you receive the compensation you need to cover medical bills, lost wages, damages and more.

As a passenger, you need to know your rights in receiving compensation from an at-fault driver. Because your unique circumstances will determine who you can receive compensation from and how much compensation you can receive, you should always talk to a personal injury attorney about your situation.


The legal team at Lamber Goodnow can help you through the process of filing claims and taking a personal injury case to court. Contact them today to discuss the circumstances surrounding your accident, who was at fault, and who you may be able to receive compensation from.

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