Can a Passenger File a Car Accident Claim Against Their Driver?

April 19, 2022
Can a Passenger File a Car Accident Claim Against Their Driver?

You Can File a Car Accident Claim If You Were the Passenger

As a passenger in another driver's vehicle during a car accident, you can file a car accident claim to recover damages caused by another driver's negligence. A passenger can file a claim with any driver whose actions led to the accident, including the driver with which they share the car. Some of their driver's negligent actions that can cause an accident include distracted driving, speeding, drunk driving, not using a turn signal, and driving on the shoulder. Filing a car accident claim against your driver requires you to prove the driver's liability in causing the car accident. A car accident lawyer can assist you in establishing your driver's liability by collecting evidence, such as witness statements, photos, videos, and vehicle accident reconstructions. With the help of a car accident lawyer, you could potentially receive compensation for your car accident injuries.

PIP When You are a Passenger in Another Driver's Vehicle

As a no-fault state, Florida requires all drivers to purchase personal injury protection. PIP insurance covers up to $10,000 worth of damages caused by a car accident. If you were the passenger in a car accident, your personal injury protection would cover the damages because the policy insures you, not your vehicle. Wherever the accident happens, your insurance will follow and keep you protected.

What if the Passenger Does Not Have Car Insurance?

As a passenger, you may not have personal injury protection. You may not have your license or a vehicle to drive, hence why another motorist drives you around. In this case, you can still be covered by a personal injury protection policy, depending on your living arrangement. According to Florida Statute 627.732, personal injury protection of a relative residing in the same household can extend to you if you. This relative can be a domestic partner, sibling, parent, or child. You must have a blood relation or legal union for PIP insurance to apply to you. If your son has PIP insurance but no longer lives with you, his insurance would not cover you.  If you do not have a relative you can share PIP insurance with, the insurance of the driver you rode with will extend to you. The driver's insurance provider may conduct a thorough investigation of the accident and your role in it to ensure their coverage is going to a deserving party.

Filing a Car Accident Claim Against Your Driver

If the personal injury protection insurance does not cover the cost of your damages, you could file a car accident claim with the motorist who was driving you. Filing a car accident claim with that driver's insurance provider requires evidence they committed a negligent action behind the wheel.  There can be an understandable degree of hesitation regarding filing a liability claim if the driver at-fault is a friend. You may not want to file a claim because there is a chance that it might make their insurance rate go up. While this is a likely risk, it is important to remember that when you file a claim, you are dealing with the insurance company and not your friend. The coverage comes out of the insurance company's pocket and not your friend's. You will not be dealing with your friend as part of the process either. Just the insurance company. We understand that in some situations the decision to file a claim may seem difficult but it is important to remember that filing a car accident claim is one of the only ways to possibly receive compensation for severe injuries that exceed your insurance coverage. If your injuries are severe then that coverage offered by a claim can be essential and a friend would realize this. 

You Cannot File a Car Accident Claim Against a Relative You Live With

Some insurance policies do not allow you to file a claim with a resident relative, or a family member you live in the same household with. Since you may share the insurance policy coverage, the insurance company may not allow you to file a claim. In this case, you would need to contact a lawyer to work through your options in recovering damages from the car accident.

Can a Passenger File a Car Accident Claim on Both Drivers?

There are many instances where more than one driver can be held liable for a car accident. If your driver and the other driver involved in the accident acted negligently, you could file a car accident claim on both of them. For example, if one of them was speeding and one of them changed lanes without using a turn signal, they both would have contributed to the accident. It would be determined what percentage of the accident was each party's fault and if the car accident claim succeeds, they would have to pay a percentage of the settlement based on the amount of fault they contributed to the accident.

Recovering Damages as a Passenger in a Car Accident

A car accident lawyer can help you recover damages by filing a claim with the at-fault party's insurance company. As a passenger, you still are owed the same rights as any other driver on the road, and a lawyer can help you fight for the fair compensation a negligent driver may owe you. Your car accident lawyer's job is to put you in the best position to receive a settlement by conducting research and gathering evidence to prove the at-fault party's liability. A car accident lawyer will send out the demand letter, collect evidence, interview witnesses, negotiate a settlement, and represent you in court. Some of the damages you can collect in a successful car accident claim include medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning potential, disability costs, wrongful death, and pain and suffering.

Contact Dolman Law Group for Help With Your Car Accident Claim

Riding as a passenger with someone else driving is an act of faith in the driver. You are entrusting them with your safety. If they act negligently behind the wheel, they breach the duty of care they owe you and put you at risk of severe injury. At Dolman Law Group, our experienced car accident lawyers will approach your situation with care to ensure you receive compensation for your medical bills. We will follow your lead to seek compensation from a driver that did not keep you safe enough as a passenger in their vehicle. Get in touch with Dolman Law Group today for a free consultation. Call 833-55-CRASH or leave us a message on our online contact page.

Matthew Dolman

Clearwater Personal Injury and Insurance Attorney

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess or $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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