If you are injured as a passenger riding in a car, what are your rights to compensation? What types of compensation may you collect? The answer to those questions will depend on the specific facts of your claim. In most circumstances, if you are a passenger in a vehicle that is involved in a collision, you may assert a claim against the driver of your vehicle, the driver of other vehicles involved in the collision, or all parties if they share responsibility for the crash. Even if you family member or spouse was the driver of the vehicle and caused the collision, you may assert an insurance claim with your insurance company to collect compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and personal injury. While many people are concerned that bringing a claim will increase their insurance rates, the insurance company will probably already increase your insurance rates if the driver of your vehicle was at-fault for the collision. The benefits you are likely to recovery from bringing a claim as a passenger will likely be far greater than any so-called insurance penalty against the driver.What Types of Compensation May I Recover as a Passenger Against a PIP Policy?
As a passenger, you are entitled to access to any Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy that applies to the vehicle. PIP coverage usually pays a passenger’s medical bills for injuries sustained in a collision. It may also pay compensation for lost time from work or lost wages caused by the collision. The specifics will depend on the contractual language of the policy. If you have questions about what types of compensation you may collect under a PIP policy, contact our law firm for a free evaluation of your claim.What Types of Compensation May I Recover Against a Liability Policy?
The second type of common coverage in automobile policies is called a “liability” policy. This type of policy is intended to cover damages, up to the limits provided in the policy, that the injured party could collect under applicable law for their injuries. In the context of a passenger injury, the passenger may assert a claim under the liability policy for a collision caused by the driver of the vehicle. Under this type of coverage, you may collect any type of compensation allowed by law, including compensation for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, lost wages, medical expenses, and out-of-pocket costs. If you have questions about your right to recover compensation under a liability policy, contact us to discuss your rights.What Types of Compensation May I Recovery Under Un-Insured Motorist Coverage?
The third type of coverage available to an injured passenger is called “un-insured or under-insured motorist” coverage. This type of coverage allows a passenger to recover compensation with a third-party driver caused a collision and (a) has no insurance “un-insured driver” or; (b) has insufficient insurance (“under-insured motorist”) to fully compensate the passenger for all their injuries and damages. This type of insurance, like other types of insurance, is heavily regulated by the state of Washington. For example, if you are a passenger in a car that is hit by a drunk driver who caused the accident and the drunk driver has no insurance, you may bring a claim under the un-insured motorist coverage to collect all compensation you could have collected against the drunk driver if they had sufficient assets to cover your losses. The insurance company will evaluate your claim and pay compensation up to the limits of liability as set forth in the declarations page of your policy.Free Consultation
We offer a free consultation for passengers injured in motor vehicle collisions or other types of accidents. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.