Many of us will ride with friends and family members for short distances, such as to the grocery store, or long distances, such as to visit family members in a different state. Though we may not consider it at the time, car accidents do and can happen every day. Car accidents are a scary thing to be a part of, but it is even more scary and overwhelming when you have no control over the accident because you are a passenger in the vehicle.
So, what happens when you are the passenger in a car accident? If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Spokane auto accident attorney so that we can help you strategize about the best possible outcomes for your case.
Rights of Injured Passengers
In Washington, when a driver allows a passenger into his or her vehicle, that driver is implicitly agreeing to exercise a reasonable duty of care to ensure that the passenger is safe while the driver is driving. However, accidents still may occur and when they do, an injured passenger has the right to be compensated. Who the passenger can hold liable for his or her injuries depend on the circumstances and facts of the case. In many cases, a passenger can make a claim against the driver's insurance policy or the insurance policy of the other driver that was involved in the accident.
If there are multiple vehicles involved in the accident, a passenger may seek compensation for his or her injuries based on the level of fault that each driver had for the accident to occur. Washington is a pure comparative negligence state, therefore, each driver would have to pay his or her amount of fault. For instance, if the passenger is seeking $100,000 and there are two drivers involved in the accident where one driver is at fault 60% and the other driver is at fault 40%, then the passenger will be able to receive $60,000 from the first driver and $40,000 from the second driver. In most situations, passengers are usually reluctant to sue the person that they are riding with because the driver is usually a friend or family member. The passenger should not feel bad, however, because he or she is not necessarily going after the loved one who was driving, but his or her insurance policy.
Need Legal Advice?
When you are involved in a car accident as a passenger, you still have rights and you can be compensated for whatever injuries you sustain from one or both drivers depending on the circumstances. You have a right to be compensated for your injuries, and with the help of an experienced Spokane auto accident attorney, you can be. If you or a loved one have been injured in an auto accident, contact an experienced auto accident attorney to help you with your case. Contact the West Law Office online or call us at 509-993-0748 today.
(image courtesy of D. Medina)