I Was a Passenger Involved in an Accident. What Are My Rights if I Was Injured?
Posted By Meyerkord & Meyerkord, LLC
Victims who suffer injuries that could and should have been prevented if
not for another’s negligence have rights in our legal system, including
the right to seek financial compensation for their damages from the at-fault
party. If you were injured while riding as a passenger, your options for
recovering such compensation will depend on the facts involved. However,
navigating the most appropriate path toward a full and fair financial
recovery begins with understanding your rights and the personal injury
At Meyerkord & Meyerkord, LLC, our St. Louis personal injury attorneys
draw from over a century of collective experience to educate victims about
their legal rights, and to provide the support and representation they
need to protect them following preventable
car accidents. Below, we discuss the rights of injured passengers, their available legal
options, and what we can do to help:
Financial compensation –
Personal injury claims and lawsuits exist to make victims of negligence and preventable
injuries whole (or as whole as they can possibly be made). These legal
actions focus on holding at-fault parties accountable for causing wrecks,
and financially liable for the damages victims suffer as a result. For
passengers injured in car accidents, these damages can include their pain
and suffering, mental anguish and emotional injuries, medical expenses,
and lost income, among other damages. Remember, while it is your right
to recover compensation, that compensation is never guaranteed nor automatically
granted; insurance companies aren’t keen on paying out victims.
To protect this right and fight back against insurers that do all they
can to pay as little as possible, you can work with experienced personal
injury lawyers like those at our firm.
Hold the at-fault party accountable – It is your right to pursue a personal injury case against the
at-fault party and hold them accountable for failing to safely operate
their vehicle. This can include another driver whose negligence caused
your accident, such as if they were
driving distracted or
under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or the driver of an
Uber/Lyft, taxi, or other transportation provider.
You can file a claim with the responsible party’s insurance provider – Many passengers injured in auto accidents know their driver, often
as a friend or family member. If the driver of your vehicle was at-fault,
you should understand that any personal injury claim you pursue is filed
against their insurance provider, not against them directly. The insurance
company will handle your claim, and because they may argue fault and liability,
or attempt to pay you as little as possible, it is best to have legal
representation to help you secure the compensation you deserve.
You can seek compensation through UM / UIM coverage – There are some auto accident cases where victims are harmed by
an uninsured or underinsured driver. If the at-fault driver in your case
didn’t have auto insurance, or didn’t carry enough coverage
to cover all of your damages, you have a right to seek compensation through
your own UM / UIM coverage, if you have this policy and regardless of
the fact that you were a passenger and not a driver at the time.
Legal representation – One of the most important rights you have as a victim of negligence
is the right to legal representation. Having a lawyer by your side after
you suffer injuries as a passenger can ensure you take all appropriate
steps toward a full financial recovery of your damages, whether that means
filing a claim against another at-fault driver, your driver, multiple
trucking companies, bus companies, Uber / Lyft, or even product manufacturers that made defective
auto parts or products. Our attorneys help injured passengers explore
all their available options, and handle the necessary legal work to negotiate
a fair settlement with insurance companies, or take a case to trial when
they fail to offer what you rightfully deserve.
If you have been injured as a passenger – as either a passenger of
a friend or family member or a transportation service such as Uber or
Lyft – protecting your rights is essential to your future. Learn
how Meyerkord & Meyerkord, LLC can help you when you
contact us for a free consultation.