“Can I Sue if I Was the Passenger in a Car Accident?”

July 22, 2020 | By Riddle & Brantley Accident Injury Lawyers
“Can I Sue if I Was the Passenger in a Car Accident?”

Can a Passenger File an Injury Claim Against a Driver?

In most cases, a passenger can file a lawsuit against an at-fault driver in North Carolina.Our North Carolina car accident lawyers are often asked, “Can I sue if I was the passenger in a car accident? The answer is simple: yes, you can file a lawsuit against an at-fault driver in a car accident. Passengers are not in control of the vehicle so, in most cases, are not even partially liable for a car crash. You may file a claim against or sue the at-fault driver, including the driver of your vehicle. In some cases, both drivers are liable for the crash — even the driver of your vehicle. The most common case we see where our passenger has a claim against her driver and the other driver occurs at intersections with stop lights. In those cases, both drivers may claim to have the green light and there are no witnesses. We present a claim against the insurance company for both drivers and in most cases, we are able to win compensation for our injured passengers, even if both insurance companies share the payment.

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"What If I Know the Driver?"

The most common reason there is an issue with being a passenger and filing a claim against the driver is that the passenger usually knows the driver of his vehicle. Most passengers know their driver and in most situations, the driver is a family member or close friend. The passenger may be hesitant to file a claim because of the relationship. However, under the law, the relationship does not bar filing a claim against the at-fault driver. Once we explain the law, then our passenger-client is comfortable pursuing the claim against the driver. If you were the passenger in a car accident and were injured due to someone else’s negligence, even your own driver, then you deserve justice and may be entitled to compensation — call 1-800-525-7111 today for a FREE consultation with a North Carolina car accident lawyer handling passenger injury claims today. You can sue the at-fault driver if you’ve been hurt as a passenger in a car accident. Our North Carolina car accident lawyers routinely handle passenger injury cases. Recent case results on behalf of injured passengers (see disclaimer below) include:
  • $90,000 settlement — secured for a passenger who was injured when the driver of the vehicle crashed into a tree.
  • $1,000,000 settlement — secured for a passenger on a motorcycle who was thrown from the bike and suffered serious injuries after the driver lost control.
  • $125,000 settlement — secured for the passenger in a vehicle that was struck head-on by a truck that lost control and swerved across the center line.

Were You Injured as a Passenger in a Car Accident?

If you’ve been injured as a passenger due to a driver’s negligence (including the driver in your own vehicle), you may be entitled to compensation in an injury claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver. At Riddle & Brantley, we’re ready to help however we can. Call 1-800-525-7111 today to speak with an experienced car accident attorney. There is no obligation and you won’t pay any attorney fees unless we win your case and recover compensation for you. We may be able to file an injury claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company, or even file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, depending on the facts and circumstances of your case. At Riddle & Brantley we have a team of on-staff investigators who can help prove liability and work with our attorneys to start building a strong case for compensation. [su_button background="#13182E" color="#ffffff" size="10" wide="yes" center="yes" url="tel:1-800-525-7111" desc="The longer you wait, the harder it may be to prove your case."]Click to call for a free consultation![/su_button]

Can a Passenger Be at Fault for a Car Accident?

A passenger in most situations cannot be found at fault for a car accident. If, for instance, the driver turned to talk with you and took his or her eyes from the road, if an accident resulted, that is not your fault as the passenger. However, there are certain cases in which a passenger could be held partially responsible for a car accident. If, for example, you are the passenger and you encourage the driver to speed or drink and drive, and it results in an accident, you may be held partially responsible. If the passenger yanks the wheel causing the driver to crash, then the passenger may be liable for the accident. In these types of cases, a passenger injury claim against the driver would likely fail to win compensation.

Contributory Negligence

In North Carolina, the law of contributory negligence prevents a plaintiff from recovering compensation if he or she is partially responsible for the accident. This law is often used by insurance companies and defense counsel to avoid paying compensation in car accidents.

Assuming Risk as a Passenger

In some cases, you may not be able to recover compensation in an injury claim as a passenger, because you assumed some level of risk when you choose to ride in a vehicle driven by another person. For instance, if you decide to ride as a passenger in a vehicle driven by someone who has had too much to drink, then you’ve assumed a certain level of risk. In situations like this, defense counsel and/or the insurance company may argue that you are barred from recovery because you assumed that risk when you knowingly got in the vehicle with a driver who was impaired. These cases are complicated, however, and an experienced passenger injury lawyer can help. Call 1-800-525-7111 today for a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced car accident attorney at Riddle & Brantley. Remember, there are no attorney fees unless we win your case and you receive compensation.

Have You Been Injured as a Passenger in a Car Accident?

If you’ve been injured as a passenger in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Our passenger injury attorneys have been fighting for victims for nearly four decades and we would love to help if we can. For a FREE, no-obligation consultation with a car accident lawyer serving cities across the entire state of North Carolina, please call 1-800-525-7111 or complete the short form below.
“They made a hard time in my life easier to endure.”
-Melissa C., Riddle & Brantley client $665 million recovered since 2000 alone.There is no obligation, and you won’t pay any attorney fees unless we win your case. As an injured passenger in a car accident, you have the legal right to sue all the driver(s) found to be responsible for the crash and your injuries. Our car accident lawyers can evaluate your claim and help determine your best legal options for pursuing justice. Please call 1-800-525-7111 today and let’s review your claim. You deserve justice and we would love to help however we can. Justice Counts.  
*** Disclaimer: The results mentioned are intended to illustrate the type of cases handled by the firm. These results do not guarantee a similar outcome, and they should not be construed to constitute a promise or guarantee of a particular result in any particular case. Every case is different, and the outcome of any case depends upon a variety of factors unique to that case.