No one ever wants to be involved in a vehicle accident, but the circumstances can become complicated and uncomfortable quickly if you were inside a friend’s car or involved in an accident with a friend.
Trying to figure out the best way to recover the compensation you need to get better from your injuries without ruining your friendship can be complicated. Hiring the right personal injury attorney can help you negotiate this effectively. Just because you weren’t driving the vehicle doesn’t mean that the injuries you sustained were any less severe than anyone else in the accident. Your passenger status, however, can raise questions about where you should seek compensation from.
Passengers are often friends of the drivers involved. In a typical accident, the individual not at fault will go after compensation from the negligent party through the negligent party’s insurance company. This could mean a lawsuit but it does not necessarily have to mean that. The personal injury attorney you hire will submit a claim to the insurance company of the at-fault party on behalf of the injured victim. Sometimes the insurance adjuster and the attorney may reach a settlement before the lawsuit is ever filed.
When a passenger pursues a claim, both drivers may be named as a defendant to ensure that the victim is not missing out on any potential compensation. Sometimes the other driver’s insurance company will end up paying nothing and other times the friend may be found negligent. It may be in your best interests to settle the claim early on in the process such that you will not actually have to sue your friend at all.
You may also be eligible to seek compensation from any uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage on the friend’s policy even in situations in which the other driver was at fault. It is difficult to feel comfortable exercising your legal right to sue a friend. However, talking with an attorney immediately can help you to discover the critical issues involved and how to approach this situation without damaging your friendship.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.