Can You Claim Damages as the Passenger in a Car Accident?

Car accidents are always upsetting for everyone involved. Whether you were at fault or whether there was nothing you could have done to avoid what happened, you’re going to need to pick up the pieces and resume your life, and that’s going to involve talking to insurance companies, getting your vehicle repaired, and seeking medical attention should that be necessary. But what if you were the passenger in an accident rather than the driver? Is it possible for you to seek damages from the other driver, and expect to have a realistic chance of winning your suit? There are multiple aspects of the situation that must be considered if that’s the question you’re asking.

Were You Injured?

Generally speaking, if you sustained no physical injuries in the accident, then it’s going to be more difficult for you to win a suit against the other driver. You can attempt to claim that the damage was emotional or psychological, and a victory is not impossible, though it’s going to be challenging. If you suffered physical injuries, though, it’s highly likely that you’re going to have a winnable case against the other driver. You can stay protected with an injury attorney in such cases if you can find one that has dealt with these sorts of claims before and has a history of winning them.

Was the Other Driver Negligent?

If the other driver was not engaged in reckless behavior, then you have less chance of winning a suit against them. For instance, if the accident took place because the other vehicle skidded on the ice in a winter storm, then that’s not going to be considered reckless behavior on the part of the driver. However, if the other driver was drunk, under the influence of illegal drugs, or they were driving dangerously or erratically, then you have a much better chance of winning your claim.

Other Mitigating Factors

If you can establish that the other driver was talking on their cell phone or texting, then you have a shot at getting back some damages. There are other circumstances where you have a legitimate shot at winning your claim, but you’re going to have to consult with a lawyer and present all the facts of what happened to them. If they’re familiar with this type of law, then they should be able to give you an idea of whether you should pursue the matter further or whether it is probably a waste of your time.

Is It Worth Pursuing?

Ultimately, if you were scared by what happened but not physically harmed, then it is probably in your best interest to just forget it and try to get on with your life. If you were injured, though, and it’s affecting your life moving forward, then you should try to hold the other driver accountable. That’s especially true if some reckless behavior on their part was obviously what led to the accident. If that’s what happened, then as either the driver or a passenger in the other vehicle, you should be able to seek justice for what took place.


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