Passenger Injury Attorneys in New Jersey
Your Rights as an Injured Passenger After a Car Crash
Any passenger in a vehicular accident is considered free of liability for the accident, unless they committed an overt act that distracted the driver, or in any other way contributed to the accident. Additionally, if you get into a vehicle knowing that the driver is intoxicated, you may have “assumed the risk” of being in an accident.
If you are a passenger and you are injured in a vehicular accident, you may receive compensation for your injuries. Be sure that you see a doctor immediately. You may have a claim against all negligent parties, which can include the driver of the car you were riding in when the accident occurred, as well as the drivers of other vehicles involved.
It is vitally important that get as much information about the circumstances as possible – who was driving each car, what happened, the weather or road conditions, any witnesses, etc.
Contact our New Jersey passenger injury lawyers at The Law Offices Of James C. DeZao, P.A. today at (973) 358-6134 to discuss your rights and legal options.
The Process of Filing a Passenger Injury Claim
Filing a passenger injury claim essentially involves a similar method to filing any other type of car accident claim. The only difference is that as a passenger, you have the ability to make the claim against both of the drivers, if the accident involved two vehicles.
It is important that you get insurance details from both of the drivers, and file the claim against each driver’s insurance company. Yet, there are exceptions. For example, if the accident gained no-fault status, you should go ahead and file a Personal Injury Protection (PIP), or no-fault claim against the driver, relative to your medical bills and lost earnings.
What Happens When There Are Multiple Passengers?
One potential issue with passenger injury cases is when you are not the only passenger. Say you are involved in a car accident with two other passengers. If all three of you file against the negligent driver, it may exceed the amount that his insurance can cover. This poses an issue, as each injured individual will need to settle for less than what the case is qualified for.
In this case, what this means for you is that you must take money out of your pockets to compensate for what the driver’s insurance cannot cover. All three passengers may also not agree on a specific amount that each one receives, and the driver himself may even file a suit to settle this matter.
What If the Passenger Is Partially Liable?
If in a rare case, you as the passenger are partly at fault for the accident, your recovery can be lowered by the proportionate share of blame that you had in the accident. Say your damages as a passenger total $50,000, and you were found to be at fault by 10 percent. The maximum recovery you may receive would be $45,000. You must cover the 10 percent of the accident that was your fault.
This specific example is dependent on the state you are living in, though most states maintain the same criteria. Other states may follow different procedures where no compensation is given to anyone who was even remotely liable for the incident.
New Jersey is a comparative negligence state. That means that you can still recover compensation even if the accident was partially your fault. If you are a passenger who was injured in a car accident, you may want to discuss your legal rights with an experienced lawyer. Contact us today to get help.
Call the Law Office of James C. DeZao Today
The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary recovery of funds. In many cases, a lawsuit must be filed before an applicable expiration date, known as a statute of limitations. Therefore, please call right away to ensure that you do not waive your right to possible compensation.
Injured in a car crash as a passenger? Give us a call today at (973) 358-6134 to discuss your case with a
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