What are my rights as a passenger in a car accident?

You have a legal right to seek compensation if you are a passenger in a car accident and are injured. Determining fault will play a vital role in how your damages are covered. Knowing who bears responsibility, how to file a claim, and what to do when an insurance settlement does not cover your injuries poses significant challenges.

If you are a passenger in a car accident, speak with a Chicago car accident lawyer at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates to better understand your rights and find help pursuing compensation.

passenger in car accident

What compensation can an injured passenger claim?

A passenger in a car accident has the same rights to compensation as any other individual. The damages you sustain will determine the compensation you receive and may include:

  • All medical expenses
  • Medication costs
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering

The average personal injury settlement varies for each case, and you may incur additional damages.  A car accident lawyer in Chicago can provide information on what qualifies as damages in a car accident.

Who would pay for my expenses if I was a passenger in a car accident?

Illinois follows a fault-based system for car accidents, meaning the at-fault driver is liable for your injuries. Their insurance should cover your damages if you are a passenger in a car accident.

Illinois also follows a modified comparative negligence rule and assigns the fault proportionately to anyone responsible for the accident. A driver who may legally claim compensation in an accident will have their damages reduced by their percentage of fault. Passengers, however, would not be considered an at-fault party unless extenuating circumstances are involved.

Your injuries may be the cause of multiple parties’ actions. Determining the liability of each involved party is critical to your financial recovery. The responsible party in an accident may be an entity instead of a driver.

Can I file a lawsuit against the driver of the car I was in?

Suppose the driver of the car you are a passenger in is at fault for your injuries, and their insurance company fails to offer fair compensation in a personal injury settlement. In that case, you have the right to legal action. Your injuries may also exceed the driver’s insurance minimums and coverage, meaning the next step is to sue the person responsible for your damages in the accident.

What if the driver of the car I am a passenger in is a family member or relative?

Many people feel uncomfortable with filing a claim or taking legal action to pursue compensation for their injuries as passengers in a car accident when family or a relative is involved. Injured passengers may feel equally apprehensive about seeking fair compensation when the driver is a friend. It is vital to recognize the action for recovery is between you and the insurance company instead of an act of ill will against someone you care about.

How long do I have to file a lawsuit if I am a passenger in a car accident?

Illinois law specifies that injury victims must file a claim within two years of the accident date. Waiting to speak with a Chicago car accident lawyer increases the risk of losing important evidence about your car accident. Even if you are not ready to take legal action, it’s essential to understand your rights if you are a passenger in a car accident.

Contact Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates online or call (800) 985-1819. We offer free consultations to discuss legal responsibility for your injuries and possible damages you may recover.