After a collision occurs, passengers have the same rights as drivers when it comes to seeking compensation for their injuries, which may include:
- Traumatic brain injury and/or facial trauma from striking the dashboard or window
- Whiplash and back injury from being rear-ended
- Widespread physical trauma from a side-impact collision
Who is legally obligated to provide that compensation depends on the circumstances of the accident. Strictly speaking, the driver responsible for the crash is the one obligated to satisfy any passenger injury claims, so obtain their contact information and insurance details either directly or from the police afterward. If both drivers are at fault, then you can file a claim against both of them.
New York is a “no-fault” insurance state, meaning that insurance holders are generally covered by their company for damages like medical bills, property damage, and other losses arising from the accident. If you happen to be riding in someone else’s uninsured vehicle at the time of the accident and you do not live with that person, then you may be able to make a claim from your own automobile insurance policy or that of a relative in the same household.
Insurance companies can be difficult to deal with. They may try to mitigate potential liability by suggesting that your own negligence contributed to the accident. With drivers, they try to suggest that the victim ran a red light, was driving at high speed, or engaged in texting and driving. With passengers, they might claim that you interfered with the driver’s operation of the vehicle.
New York is a comparative negligence state, meaning that the damages you can recover are reduced by the degree to which you are deemed responsible for the accident. For example, if you suffered damages valued at $20,000 and were declared 10% responsible for what happened, then your maximum recovery would be $18,000.
For this and many other reasons, injured car passengers should always retain a New York personal injury attorney to help them file their claims and prepare their cases. You could also be eligible to seek compensation from other parties, and your attorney will help you identify and file a claim against them. For example:
- If that driver was intoxicated because a bar or restaurant served them too much alcohol, then you might have a claim against that establishment.
- If a defective vehicle component, such as a tire, caused the accident, then you can demand compensation from the manufacturer and/or distributor.
If you are injured due to the negligence or recklessness of another party, then contact a personal injury attorney immediately. Without experienced and assertive legal assistance, you could miss out on the compensation you need to recover from your injuries physically, emotionally, and financially. Jayson Lutzky has helped recover millions of dollars for his accident and personal injury clients. If you were injured, then you may be entitled to receive compensation for past and future pain and suffering, medical bills and lost wages. Call 718-329-9500 to speak with a member of our team. In-person initial consultations are free. Visit www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com/Accidents to learn more.