Passenger Injury Attorneys Serving Florida & Georgia
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If you’ve been injured in a car accident as a passenger, you may be feeling confused about who is liable for your injuries and what your rights are in this situation. You may even feel reluctant to pursue financial compensation because you were riding with a family member or friend (although any compensation would come from their insurance company, not out of their pocket).
The experienced passenger injury attorneys at Farah & Farah have helped many people in similar situations receive the fair compensation they were owed for medical bills, time missed from work, and other related expenses. If you were injured in a car accident as a passenger, call us 24/7 at (877) 245-6707 or contact us online to receive your free case review.
The complex rules surrounding liability in a passenger injury claim will differ from state to state, and the specific facts and circumstances of your accident will also determine the outcome. For example, Georgia generally requires at-fault parties’ insurance to provide bodily injury coverage for your losses.
However, Florida is a no-fault state, which generally means that all injured parties will seek coverage for medical bills from their own insurers, regardless of fault. Compensation for injuries would still require a bodily injury policy, which is not required in the state of Florida. But as a passenger, your rights and the legal options available to you may differ depending on the circumstances, such as the severity of your injuries. Generally, you will be faced with three options in Florida:
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance in Florida will only cover up to $10,000 for the combined costs of medical care (80% of related bills, up to $10,000), mileage, and lost wages (60%, up to $10,000). Together, these costs must add up to less than $10,000 to be covered by PIP.
Also, PIP only covers yourself or family members, so if you are a passenger but have your own car insurance, it’s likely that you would still file a claim against your own PIP policy. You would use your driver’s policy if you or family members you live with don’t have their own policies.
Without bodily injury coverage (again, this is not required in Florida), your options for recovering compensation may be limited. For example, in a situation where the at-fault driver does not have bodily injury coverage, your driver doesn’t have bodily injury or uninsured motorist coverage, and you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage, you would not be able to pursue compensation beyond your PIP coverage.
Drivers generally assume a “duty of care” for their passengers, which means drivers may bear responsibility for their negligent behavior. That can include disregarding traffic laws, speeding, driving while impaired or distracted, and other types of reckless driving. When this duty of care is neglected, either purposefully or accidentally, the driver may be held liable for resulting damages (again, this will depend on the state you’re in).
Other drivers may be held liable for negligent behavior, such as driving while impaired or speeding, that leads to an accident when you’re a passenger. Of course, the specific facts of your accident and the state that it occured in will matter greatly.
Although passengers typically bear no fault in an accident – and therefore have a greater chance of winning a claim when compared to drivers – that’s not always the case. Passengers also have a duty of care to avoid negligent behavior. Some examples include:
In some cases, other parties outside of the drivers involved may be held liable. For example, the agency in charge of road maintenance could be at fault for failing to adequately perform their duties, which led to your accident. Or a vehicle or parts manufacturer may hold some underlying responsibility.
In any of these instances, it’s easy to see how quickly the question of liability can become complicated. That’s why it pays to work with a highly qualified, experienced passenger injury attorney who can uncover all the facts and determine who’s responsible for your losses.
Most people spend the majority of their time as a passenger riding with people they know (even with the rise of rideshare apps). In the unfortunate event of an accident, it can lead to some awkward feelings and hesitancy toward pursuing compensation that you may be legally entitled to.
Above all, it’s in your best interests to put personal feelings aside and pursue the full amount of compensation you may be entitled to. It’s important to remember that you are filing a claim against their insurance and not taking a direct action against the person.
Additionally, it’s important to understand how the degree to which you’re related to the driver will affect the outcome of your claim. In cases where you are in the same household as the driver, your options are typically limited to the coverage that’s dictated in their insurance policy. But if you were riding with a friend, coworker, or extended relative, you may have more leeway to pursue additional compensation for your injuries and losses.
In most passenger injury cases (like many legal requirements, it will depend on the state you’re in), you will need to meet a few specific criteria to qualify for compensation:
Your best bet for meeting this criteria is to start gathering as much evidence and information as possible immediately after your accident. Working with an experienced passenger injury lawyer can greatly help with this process, especially since time is of the essence.
If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence while riding as a passenger, Farah & Farah can help you navigate the confusing, potentially awkward aftermath and fight for the justice you deserve.
Whether you were riding with a friend or a stranger, you deserve to be compensated for injuries that happened through no fault of your own. We’ve helped many passengers in Florida and Georgia navigate complicated conversations with friends and family, gather evidence, establish liability, negotiate with insurance companies, and receive the compensation they were owed.
We work on a contingency basis and only get paid if your claim is successful. And when it comes to legal matters, the best time to act is right now, so call us 24/7 at (877) 245-6707 or contact us online to receive your free case review.