A tragic multiple-vehicle accident recently occurred in Virginia, taking the life of a woman and injuring two children. The driver of the car that started the pile-up was cited by police for driving under the influence, drug possession and various traffic violations.
The woman who died and the two children who were injured — a teenager and a toddler — were actually passengers in the vehicle belonging to the driver that stands accused of causing the wreck. Does that mean that they and their loved ones have no right to compensation? Absolutely not.
Passengers need to know their rights
Passengers who are injured in car wrecks and the families of passengers who are killed in these accidents can also seek compensation for their injuries and losses — even when they’re passengers in the car that started a chain-reaction wreck.
The law aims to hold those who are negligent responsible for the injuries and losses they cause others. In most situations, it would be very difficult to say that a passenger caused a terrible car wreck — but that doesn’t mean claiming compensation will be easy.
More than one driver may be responsible for a passenger’s injuries
In many cases, a passenger who is injured in a wreck caused by the driver of their vehicle can pursue compensation from that driver, even when the driver is a family member or friend.
In some cases, both drivers involved in a wreck could be liable. When one driver is attempting to sue another, a key point in the case is determining fault. That can sometimes lead to finger-pointing as each driver involved seeks to lay blame on the other.
Moreover, multiple insurance companies may become involved, especially when injuries are serious or someone dies. Passengers or their loved ones may ultimately need to seek compensation from the insurance company of the person driving the car they were in, the insurance company of the other driver and their own insurance company.
If you’ve been hurt while riding as a passenger in someone else’s vehicle or a loved one was killed, it’s time to learn more about your legal rights and options for compensation. While it won’t restore things to the way they were, it can help you provide for your family’s needs during this time.