There are additional considerations when a passenger is injured in an auto accident.
Fault in a passenger injury case.
A passenger may have a personal injury claim against the driver of the vehicle in which the passenger was travelling, a claim against the driver of another vehicle, or both—depending on the particular facts and circumstances of the auto accident. This may present a conflict of interest in an auto accident injury case. A personal injury attorney may be prevented from representing both the driver and the passenger of the same vehicle, or the driver and passenger might waive the conflict of interest.
Insurance coverage in a passenger injury case.
If the driver of the vehicle in which the passenger was travelling has Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, then the passenger is covered for medical expenses under that insurance coverage. Otherwise, medical expenses are not paid by any driver’s auto insurance until the entire claim—including pain and suffering and other damages—are settled. This can be very frustrating because sometimes the insurance companies do not want to settle until all the claims can be resolved, particularly if there are issues of policy limits and/or disputes about which driver was at fault and to what extent. The only way to resolve a personal injury dispute if the injured party and applicable insurance companies cannot agree on a settlement is to file a personal injury lawsuit.
If you have been injured in an auto accident seek a free personal injury case evaluation.