If you are a passenger in a car accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries or damages.
However, this can be a tricky situation to navigate alone, given the complicated nature of such a claim. With a qualified Florida personal injury lawyer by your side, you can get the help you need to recover from an auto accident caused by another driver’s negligence.
At Eltringham Law Group, we understand that time is of the essence when you get injured in a car accident as a passenger. That’s why our team works hard to ensure you get the compensation you deserve as smoothly as possible.
Contact us at (561) 944-6607 to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers. We will work with you in every step to determine whether you’re eligible to file a lawsuit against the other driver’s insurance company.
Car Accidents: What You Should Know About Your Legal Options As a Passenger
What are your legal rights as a passenger in a car accident? The answer depends on many factors, including who was driving the vehicle, who caused the crash, what type of insurance the driver has, and more.
In general, however, a passenger in a car accident claim has the following fundamental rights/legal options:
- You may take legal action against the at-fault driver to recover compensation for your injuries. That is especially true/possible if the accident was caused solely by another driver’s negligence.
- You may or may not sue the driver of the host car. For example, in Florida, most insurance carriers do not allow you to sue a resident relative, i.e., a family member you live with. But if you were riding with someone you do not live with (coworker, friend, acquaintance, etc.), and their negligence on the road caused the accident, you may sue them for your injuries.
- You may be able to stack coverage on multiple policies, depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident. For instance, if you were riding in a friend’s car and they have a $50,000 UIM protection, but you also have $25,000 on your car, you could potentially collect up to $75,000 in total benefits.
Who Can a Passenger Claim Compensation From?
Now that we have settled the question about passenger’s rights let’s talk about who can be held liable for your injuries.
1. Your Own Auto Insurance Company
Florida requires car insurance carriers to provide Personal Injury Protection (PIP) which is medical payments coverage that pays for up to the 1st $10,000 of your medical care & treatment. After which, the at-fault driver’s bodily injury insurance take over paying those bills. PIP covers damages suffered by the named insured, their immediate resident relatives, passengers in the insured’s car, persons driving the insured’s car, and those struck by the insured’s car.
Remember, PIP covers up to 80% of medical bills and 60% of lost wages. And you must present for medical treatment within 14 days of the accident in order to be eligible to make a claim for benefits under PIP.
2. Your Driver’s Auto Insurance
As a passenger in another person’s car involved in an accident, you may be entitled to file for compensation from your driver’s auto insurance carrier as well as your own depending on the available coverages.
3. The Other Driver’s Auto Insurance
If your injuries as a passenger are due to another motorist’s negligence, you may be able to pursue a claim against their auto insurance company. And if the at-fault driver does not own the car, you can also file a claim with the actual car owner’s insurer.
But what if the other driver is an uninsured (UI) or underinsured motorist (UIM)? Although Florida motorist laws do not require you to carry uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance, having that critically important coverage on your own policy can come in handy in such situations.
With the above legal options to pursue compensation, it may be challenging to determine the best course of action. But don’t worry! We’re here to help. Our personal injury and car accident attorneys will review the case objectively, gather all relevant information, advise you accordingly, and devise an airtight legal strategy to maximize your chances of winning. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with our team of experienced attorneys.
What Types of Compensation Can You Pursue?
When injured as a passenger in a car accident, there are several types of compensation you may be eligible to receive:
- Medical expenses (past & future): If you suffer serious injuries due to the accident, you may be eligible to recover medical expenses incurred during treatment. These include emergency room visits, hospital stays, doctor visits, prescriptions, physical therapy, and more. You may also be entitled to compensation for your future medical care & treatment needs.
- Lost wages: If you cannot work due to the accident, you may have grounds to collect lost wages.
- Pain and suffering: If you suffered from the crash, you may be entitled to compensation for these damages.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: Accidents are life-altering and often cause significant changes in your daily routine, which can negatively impact your quality of life. For example, you might struggle to maintain employment, find yourself isolated socially, or experience anxiety about returning to school. So, you deserve compensation for these damages.
Other possible grounds for compensation in a passenger car accident claim include mental anguish, loss of consortium, lost earning capacity, property damage, and punitive damages.
Injured in a Car Accident? Contact Eltringham Law Group in Florida Today!
At Eltringham Law Group, our core values — transparency, truth, and justice — set us apart. We also leverage our years of experience, rich expertise, and legal resources to provide clients with the most effective representation possible.
We offer free, no-obligation consultations, so contact us today to learn how we can help you get compensated for your losses.
Car Accident Case FAQs
What is the statute of limitations for car accidents in Florida?
The statute of limitations defines the period you must bring a lawsuit against the at-fault party. In Florida, you have up to four years to bring a claim after the date of the accident.
What if I was hurt in an Uber or Lyft?
Like any other motorist, rideshare drivers are expected to carry PIP and bodily injury insurance. Uber and Lyft are famous for their $1 million (minimum) liability coverage when you get injured as a result of being hit by one of their drivers. However, you may still not be adequately protected if you get hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist since Uber & Lyft in many cases has drastically lowered the available UM insurance to its customers. The best way to protect yourself is to make sure you buy as much UM insurance as you can afford on your personal vehicle. Your personal UM insurance always follows you in whatever vehicle you happen to be in, including Uber & Lyft.