Can I Be Sued by my Passengers After a Car Crash?
Posted on behalf of Goldberg Finnegan, LLC on May 06, 2020 in Car Accidents
Passengers who were injured in a car accident may be eligible for compensation to cover medical bills and other damages related to their injuries. Since Maryland is an at-fault state, the driver who is determined to be liable for causing the accident is ultimately financially responsible for damages.
If you were injured as a driver or passenger in a car crash, having a knowledgeable attorney review your claim is important to protect your rights. The Silver Spring car accident attorneys at Goldberg Finnegan are prepared to discuss your claim in a Free Case Review. There is no cost to you unless we obtain compensation for your damages.
Read on to learn more about your options as a driver and as a passenger involved in a car accident in Maryland.
Rights of the Passenger After a Car Accident
If you’re a passenger in a vehicle and the driver of your car is at fault in causing a crash, the driver’s insurance (if they have insurance) will be responsible for paying for your damages. If multiple drivers are found to share fault in an accident, passengers may be able to recover compensation from all at-fault parties.
Unless the passenger did something egregious to cause the accident, he or she usually cannot be held liable for the accident. For example, if a passenger was having a conversation with the driver and the driver turned to look at the passenger, which then caused an accident, it is unlikely the passenger will be held liable. Ultimately, it is the driver’s responsibility to avoid distractions to keep everyone safe. However, if a passenger knows the driver is drunk and voluntarily gets into the vehicle with the drunk driver, the passenger may not be able to make a recovery.
What if I Was Injured as a Passenger in a Rideshare Vehicle?
If you were injured as a passenger in a rideshare vehicle in Maryland, there are multiple insurance policies that may provide coverage. Rideshare companies such as Uber or Lyft generally have three levels of protection that could be used to cover damages:
- The driver is required to have his or her own personal insurance policy in case he or she is involved in an accident while off duty and the rideshare app is turned off.
- The rideshare service’s liability insurance kicks in if the driver is on duty and the app is turned on, even if he or she has not yet accepted a ride.
- The rideshare service’s liability and underinsured or uninsured coverage applies from the time the driver accepts a ride request until the time the passenger is dropped off.
If you were involved in a rideshare car accident as a driver or passenger, it is important to discuss your claim with a licensed attorney to protect your potential claim.
Steps to Take as a Passenger in a Car Crash
If you were a passenger in a car accident, there are some important steps you can take to protect your interests, such as:
- Call 9-1-1 to report the accident and notify them of any injuries sustained by either party.
- If it is safe to do so, try to obtain as much evidence as possible, including taking pictures of your injuries and the accident scene.
- Try to obtain names, contact information, license plate numbers and insurance information from all drivers involved in the crash.
- Look for any possible witnesses and collect their contact information. Ask them if they are willing to provide a recorded statement, as this could be valuable proof of how the accident occurred.
- Seek a medical examination from a health care professional and save the documentation as proof.
Speak to a Licensed Lawyer About Your Claim
If you or a loved one was involved in a car crash as a driver or a passenger, speaking to a licensed lawyer could be in your best interests. You may be able to obtain funds to cover medical costs, lost income from missing work, pain and suffering and other damages.
The trusted lawyers at Goldberg Finnegan are devoted to helping injury victims obtain the compensation they need to make a full recovery. Schedule a no-cost consultation with one of our lawyers to learn if you may be eligible for financial assistance.