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Recovering Compensation as a Passenger in a Car Accident

April 13 2022 | Car Accidents

If you get into a car accident as a passenger in someone else’s vehicle, you could be eligible for financial compensation from one or more car insurance companies. As a passenger, you are relieved from the burden of having to prove that someone else was at fault for the crash. You will be eligible for compensation from one (or both) of the driver’s insurance companies, regardless of which one caused the crash. However, you may have to navigate other obstacles to recover fair financial compensation.

Who Is Liable for Passenger Injuries?

Connecticut uses a tort-based insurance law to determine financial responsibility, or liability, for a car accident. This means that the driver at fault for causing a crash has to pay for related damages. Car accident liability extends to other drivers and passengers. Whether the passenger was in the at-fault driver’s vehicle or the other car, the driver’s insurance company must pay for the passenger’s medical bills and any other losses. All drivers in Connecticut must carry at least the following types and amounts of liability insurance to cover victims’ expenses:

  • Bodily injury liability insurance per person: $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability insurance per accident (multiple people): $50,000
  • Property damage liability insurance: $25,000

These are the minimum amounts of insurance required by law. Drivers can also choose to purchase additional coverage or higher limits. After a car accident, any injured or affected passengers will file claims with the insurance provider of the at-fault driver. If that driver’s insurance for bodily injuries reaches its limit, the other driver’s insurer can provide supplemental coverage. In this way, a passenger’s losses are doubly covered. The amount of compensation that you could receive as a passenger will depend on the extent of your injuries and how they will foreseeably impact your life.

What Issues Could You Encounter With a Passenger Injury Claim?

Although New Haven passenger injury car accident claims are generally easier to prove than driver injury claims in Connecticut, you could still encounter challenges. Your injury claim could run into obstacles at the insurance stage, for example, such as taking longer than usual to resolve due to liability arguments. It is important to understand and defend your rights as an injured passenger from the very beginning of your case, and to consult with a car accident attorney for assistance in seeking compensation if you encounter any problems.

Three issues that passengers may experience are:

  1. An insurance liability dispute. If your accident involves two or more vehicles, you could be at the center of a liability dispute between multiple insurance companies. While you are essentially guaranteed payment as an injured passenger, a dispute could make your claim take much longer to be resolved and result in a payout.
  2. Multiple passenger claims. Drivers only have so much bodily injury liability insurance available per accident. If your crash involves multiple injured passengers, you must all divide the insurance coverage among you. This could present problems in obtaining fair compensation for your losses, especially if you suffered expensive catastrophic injuries.
  3. Uninsured drivers. Many drivers in Connecticut illegally drive without the required amounts of car insurance. If you get involved in a New Haven crash with an uninsured driver, this can mean less coverage available for your injuries and bills as a passenger. If the driver of your vehicle has uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance, this can help make up the difference.

Overcoming challenges and making sure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries and losses as a passenger are goals that a car accident lawyer can help you accomplish. It is especially important to contact an attorney if you suffer serious injuries as a passenger, such as broken bones, traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries. In this case, a driver’s insurance company may try to take advantage of you and offer less than your injuries are worth. A car accident lawyer in New Haven can help you fight for fair and full financial compensation from one or more insurance providers as an injured passenger.

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