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Are Passengers Entitled To Compensation After a Car Accident?

Car accidents can lead to both serious and minor injuries that affect both drivers and passengers alike. As a passenger in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and other items of damages that resulted because of the collision. Any passengers injured in a car accident in Wisconsin should call Gruber Law for a free case evaluation as soon as possible.

 

How Passengers Pursue Claims After An Accident

After a car accident, victims must establish that someone negligently caused the accident and was legally at fault for the collision.

To begin a car accident claim as a passenger, you should follow these steps:

 

  1. Seek medical attention for the injuries you sustained because of the crash.
  2. Speak with a Wisconsin car accident attorney and ask if you may qualify to receive compensation.

Even if you think that you may not be entitled to compensation as a passenger in a car accident, it’s beneficial to speak with a personal injury law firm, especially if you have been injured.

 

How Much Can Passengers Get After a Car Accident?

Man on crutches standing in front of car with damage on the front

The settlement amount that passengers receive after a collision depends on the facts of each individual case. In Wisconsin, there are numerous considerations and laws that dictate the one’s damages in the event of a collision.

The amount of compensation you may be entitled to can vary on things such as:

 

  • The severity of your injuries
  • The longevity, or permanency of your injuries and/or pain
  • The medical bills related to injuries sustained as a result of the collision
  • The potential of future medical bills Lost wages from work missed because of the accident
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Past pain, suffering, and disability
  • The potential future pain, suffering, and disability

Moreover, the impact the collision and the injuries suffered in the collision have on your quality of life should always be considered when evaluating the value of an injury case. These factors, and so many more, are important to consider when evaluating the value of an injury claim.

These factors are carefully considered when determining settlement amounts. It is important to remember that no two cases are exactly alike so your compensation may be higher or lower depending on the circumstances of the crash and the factors mentioned above as well as many other factors.

 

What If My Driver Was At Fault?

person calling in a pedestrian accident

Car accident liability in Wisconsin is determined by measuring the negligence of the driver’s involved in the collision. Because Wisconsin is not a no-fault state, a driver’s negligence plays a vital role in determining how a personal injury case may play out. If the driver of the vehicle you were a passenger in is negligent in their operation of the motor vehicle you were a passenger in, then you may have a claim against the driver of the vehicle you were a passenger in and/or their insurance company.

 

No Other Vehicles Involved

When you enter a car as a passenger, the driver of the vehicle is responsible for the safety of you and all other passengers. If the driver of the vehicle you were in fails to exercise ordinary care and loses control of the vehicle you were in, causing a crash, then you may have a claim against the driver of the vehicle you were in and their insurance company for the injuries and damages you suffer as a result of the crash.

 

2 Vehicle Collision

In some circumstances, the driver of the vehicle you were in may have taken all necessary precautions and may not be responsible for the collision. However, if the driver of the vehicle you were in was at fault, or shares in the fault for the collision, then you may be entitled to compensation from your driver’s insurance policy. If your driver was partially at fault, then both your driver and the driver of the other vehicle’s insurance may be liable to you.

 

Passengers Are Owed A Duty Of Care

 

As mentioned before, when you enter another driver’s vehicle they are responsible for your safety and owe you a duty of ordinary care. For the driver to be held responsible for your injuries, you must prove that the driver breached that duty. The failure to use ordinary care is negligent. There are numerous ways in which a driver can be negligent in the operation of a motor vehicle. This includes but is not limited to:

 

  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Driving at an excessive speed
  • Reckless driving and racing
  • Disobeying traffic laws and failure to stop at lights or signs
  • Distracted driving
  • Following too closely
  • Unsafely changing lanes or merging

If it can be proven that the driver of the vehicle you were in engaged in any of these acts, then this may help in proving that the driver and their insurance company are liable for injuries and damages that their passengers incurred.

 

Can A Passenger Be At Fault For a Car Accident?

In the vast majority cases, a passenger cannot be held accountable for a car accident. However, there are situations where a passenger can be at fault, or partially at fault, for a crash. Specific instances in which a passenger may be partially or fully at fault for a crash include:

 

  • The passenger interfered with the operation of the vehicle (ie. grabbing the steering wheel or pulling the emergency brake)
  • The passenger encouraged or instructed the driver to act in a reckless or negligent fashion

These are just some of the instances whereby a passenger may be held accountable for the car accident. This is a very, very rare occurrence.

 

Who Pays The Settlement?

In most cases, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will pay for the injuries and damages that were caused by the crash and sustained by an injured passenger. If you were the passenger in a car accident and you are unsure of how to proceed, speak with Gruber Law Offices today and experience our “One Call, That’s All” philosophy: (414) 276-6666.