What Are My Rights As A Passenger In A Car That Has Been In An Accident?

Being a passenger in a car accident is a scary experience that can leave you feeling helpless and with little control over the situation. As an occupant in a vehicle that is not behind the wheel, you can be at risk of serious injuries from an impact with another vehicle. Since you are not the one driving and if the vehicle is not owned by you, there can be some confusion about how you can seek reimbursement for your losses and compensation for your damages after an accident.

When you are a passenger in a motor vehicle accident, you have a right to compensation just like any other party involved in the accident. However, because you are not one of the drivers, your path to compensation for your losses can be different than that of the other parties to the case.

Did You Suffer Injuries?

If you sustain an injury in a car accident where you are a passenger, you are eligible for compensation for any losses you accrue due to the crash.

Passengers Are Usually Not at Fault for Car Accidents

In the vast majority of accidents, a passenger cannot be at fault for a collision as you are not in control of the vehicle. The exception to this norm is a situation in which a driver can prove or show that the behavior or actions of a passenger in the vehicle resulted in the accident.

While you are not likely to be held at fault for an accident, you do have an interest as the passenger and an injured victim as to who is ultimately responsible and negligent in the events leading up to the collision. The fault determination in a car accident can influence who you are able to seek compensation from.

Who May Be Liable to You as a Passenger?

When you are the victim of a car accident as a passenger, you have several potential avenues to recovery depending on the facts in the case, the amount of damages, and the parties that are at fault for the accident.

The Driver of the Vehicle You Are In

One option for recovery for a passenger in a motor vehicle accident is to seek compensation from the driver of the vehicle you were in at the time of the crash. The driver or owner of the vehicle is likely to carry vehicle liability insurance that will cover the losses to you when an accident occurs. When you are a passenger, it does not matter whether or not the driver of the vehicle you are in is at fault, you are able to seek damages through a claim to their insurer.

The Driver of Another Vehicle

When another driver is to blame for crashing into the vehicle you are a passenger in, you can seek compensation from that driver or their insurance company for your losses. In this case, you may be able to pursue damages through insurance or personally against the party at fault, whichever is your best option for recovery.

Both Parties

Motor vehicle accidents do not always apportion blame in absolutes. In fact, many car accidents involve the negligence of multiple parties where one party is more likely to blame than the other. In cases where both drivers share some fault in a collision, a passenger that is a victim in the crash can pursue compensation from both parties under the law.

What Kind of Compensation Can You Seek as a Motor Vehicle Accident Passenger?

The losses a passenger faces after a car accident can be serious. Your injuries may be severe, require hospitalization and you could be forced to take time off of work. As a passenger that plays no role or fault in the crash, the law entitles you to seek compensation for all categories of losses that you sustain.

Damages for passengers in a car accident can include:

Medical Expenses

This loss includes payment of all medical bills and expenses that arise because of your injuries. If you sustain an injury that will need long-term care, you can seek future medical expenses as well.

Loss of Income

Your inability to work is damaging to your finances and your ability to maintain your household and responsibilities. In a claim for damages, you can seek reimbursement of lost wages and any negative impact on your income that may continue because of your injuries as a passenger.

Pain and Suffering

When you are a passenger in a car accident you can undergo trauma that causes you mental and emotional distress in the days, weeks, and months after a crash. In car accident claims, passengers may seek compensation for their distress as well as the physical pain that they must endure from their injuries and in their recovery.

Wrongful Death

If a family member loses their life in a car accident as a passenger, you may have a wrongful death case against the driver of the vehicle or the party at fault. A wrongful death car accident claim allows you to seek compensation for the expenses for burial or a funeral, loss of contribution from your family member, and other wrongful death damages.

Should You Get a Lawyer to Represent You in Your Case?

As a passenger in a motor vehicle accident, you may believe that resolving your case on your own will be simple. You likely cannot be blamed for an accident by an insurer, but getting them to pay reasonable compensation for your losses would be a challenge without a car accident attorney. Whenever you suffer injuries in a car accident, you need to speak to a lawyer to make certain that you protect your claim and legal rights to compensation.

If You Were a Passenger in an Accident, Contact a Car Accident Attorney For Help

Scheduling a consultation with an Eltringham Law Group car accident attorney is free and easy to do. Contact a car accident attorney near you to discuss what compensation you are eligible for as a passenger in an automobile accident.

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I usually never leave reviews, good or bad, but for this instance, I most definitely had to. David and Marnie were both AMAZING. They made me feel comfortable and confident in their ability to resolve my case. I was walking in a crosswalk and was hit by a vehicle resulting in having to go to the hospital. I sustained injuries from this that I am still in the midst of dealing with. I contacted the firm and was able to speak with them via zoom immediately. I decided to sign with them on a Monday evening (3 days after my accident) and by Tuesday afternoon (the very next day) my case was settled. And settled for the very max that was able to be obtained. I attribute a lot of this to not only the expertise of the firm, but the relationships that Marnie has built with her experience working as a lawyer within a major insurance provider, which just so happened to be the insurance provider involved in my case. This is incredibly atypical for a case to be settled this quickly, especially with this outcome. It has been two weeks to the day today that my accident has happened and my case has already been resolved. I am blessed and more than happy that I decided to hire this firm. Every case is different, but I can bet that this firm will handle your case with care and the utmost professionalism. I pray I never have to go through a situation like this again, but if I did, I wouldn’t hesitate to call this law firm. Thank you guys very much!!


I highly recommend Eltringham Law Group to anyone seeking legal advice after having a car accident. David Eltringham and his entire staff gave me the personal attention I needed during a very difficult and painful time. David took the extra steps needed to ensure that I received the medical care I needed as well as the financial compensation I deserved. Harold Torres, Paralegal updated me every step of the way. Thank you Eltringham Law Group!

Laura Lauri

I had such a great experience with Eltringham Law Group! I was always kept in the loop and the experience was so personal. I was always in close contact with Teresa who was an absolute pleasure to work with. I would definitely recommend Eltringham Law Group again and again – I couldn’t have asked for a better experience!!!

Alex Peacock

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Lighthouse™ is a system unique to Eltringham Law Group – Personal Injury & Car Accident Attorneys, it’s what makes us different from other personal injury attorneys. We built this program to hold our own attorneys accountable and make sure our clients are getting the care and consideration they deserve.


Client Onboarding
Client Onboarding

The client meets with our Lighthouse Concierge Team to discuss the details of their potential case. A dedicated Lighthouse Team Member is assigned to the case to gather information and maintain constant communication with the client.


Investigation Case Analyzer
Investigation Case Analyzer

The assigned Lighthouse Team Member gathers and assess all information related to the case. A majority of the information is processed, paperwork is submitted and any questions/concerns the Lighthouse Team has for the client are clearly communicated and addressed.


Client Success Maximizer
Client Success Maximizer

The client meets with their Lighthouse Concierge Team Members to conduct a full review and explanation of the process. Both legal and medical records are reviewed and our team sets realistic and achievable expectations for the client.


Phase 1 Medical
Phase 1 Medical

The client is undergoing treatment at this point of the process and the Lighthouse Concierge Team maintains consistent communication to monitor the treatment scheduled. Additional medical referrals and testing may be required at this point if recommended by the current medical provider.


Phase 2 Medical
Phase 2 Medical

The client finalizes initial medical treatments that may include referrals to specialists, medical procedures, further testing and/or additional treatment recommendations by their medical providers.


Resolution or Litigation
Resolution or Litigation

The Lighthouse Concierge Team is in communication with those involved with and/or responsible for the damages incurred in your case. Two possible outcomes at this stage are 1) an achieved settlement agreement or 2) the inability to achieve a fair settlement that will result in the Eltringham Law Group filing a law suit on your behalf.


Post-Settlement Process
Post-Settlement Process

The case has completed and an agreement/resolution has been achieved with maximum in the best interest of the client. The Lighthouse Concierge Team meets with the client to fully explain the results and work diligently to finalize their case.

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