Injured as a Passenger in a Car Wreck? Understand Your Rights

You are in the front passenger seat of your friend’s vehicle. They are driving down Coral Way in Miami, Florida when another driver t-bones the vehicle. You suffer serious injuries including whiplash, a bulging disc in your L4/L5 region, and a sprained wrist. As a passenger, should you file a claim against the other driver or your friend’s policy? Our team of Miami car accident lawyers deal with this type of scenario on a regular basis.

When Another Driver Caused the Wreck

If another driver caused the accident (like the t-bone example above), you should pursue legal action against the at-fault driver. This would mean that you need to get the insurance information of the at-fault driver, either from the police who investigated the accident or possibly through your friend, if they exchanged insurance information with the at-fault driver at the scene of the collision.

When Your Friend Caused the Wreck

If your friend was careless and wound up causing a serious accident, you should consider pursuing a claim against your friend’s insurance policy. Obviously, this can create an awkward situation in which you are technically taking legal action against your friend. However, always remember that your claim will likely be paid from the insurance company, not directly by your friend. That is the reason we have automobile insurance – to make sure the parties involved are not ruined financially from the collision.

When Both Drivers Caused the Wreck

When both drivers are determined to be equally at fault for causing the wreck (e.g., both drivers were texting and driving) then you, as the injured passenger, may have grounds to pursue restitution through both driver’s insurance policies.

When Multiple Passengers are Hurt in a Wreck?

Another potential issue in passenger injury cases is when there are multiple passengers. Suppose a car with three passengers is rear ended and each passenger suffers serious injuries. In this scenario, you are likely going to run into a “limited coverage” issue. This is when the total amount of damages of the injured parties exceeds the amount of available insurance coverage. If you have underinsured motorist coverage through your own insurance policy, you can access that coverage in this situation.

Florida is a PIP State

In a no-fault state like Florida, you have access to Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. This type of coverage enables you to access a fixed amount of funds to cover medical expenses, lost wages, etc. regardless of who is deemed to be at-fault for causing the collision.

Contact an Experienced Miami Car Accident Attorney Today

If you are hurt in an accident as a passenger, the insurance issues can be quite complicated. This is why it makes sense to speak to an experienced Miami personal injury attorney with Gerson and Schwartz, PA. We offer free, confidential consultations. We also work on a contingency fee basis. That means we do not get paid unless and until you receive compensation, either through a settlement or judgment.

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