I Was A Passenger In A Car Crash – Can A Car Accident Injury Lawyer Help Me?
Were you the passenger in a vehicle that was involved in a traffic accident? Are you worried about how you will pay the medical bills from the traffic accident? Are both drivers denying fault for the collision? Do you need help taking steps to recover compensation for your damages? Is the adjuster for the driver’s insurance company telling you that you are partially to blame for your injuries; therefore, you cannot file an accident claim? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you need to consult with a California car accident injury lawyer immediately.
Gordon R. Levinson of The Levinson Law Group can help. Gordon has represented some of the largest insurance companies in America. Therefore, he has experience and knowledge that can benefit you when dealing with an insurance company. Today, Gordon uses his knowledge and experience to fight for injured and aggrieved people against the big insurance companies.
For your free consultation call (760) 642-5475 today. We accept cases on a contingent fee. That means that if there is no recovery in your case you pay no fee. And in most cases, we even advance the costs.
What If The Driver Of Your Vehicle Is At Fault For The Car Crash?
Under California law, you have the legal right to expect the driver of a vehicle to use reasonable care. California’s Civil Jury Instruction 711 states:
“A passenger is not required to be aware of the conditions on the highway and is entitled to expect that a driver will use reasonable care.”
This instruction to the jury is taken in part from a 1982 lawsuit (Casey v. Russell) where the court ruled “an automobile passenger’s “duty to look” does not arise until some factor of danger comes to his attention, thus charging him as a person of ordinary prudence to take steps for his own safety.” The court found that a passenger does not have the duty to look out for every traffic condition that might give rise to a crash unless there is some fact that would cause the passenger to act otherwise.
Therefore, if you are a passenger in the vehicle that caused the car crash, you can pursue an accident claim against the driver of the vehicle. Some people may feel uncomfortable about filing an accident claim because the driver may be a family member, friend, or co-worker. However, you must remember that you are filing an accident claim against the driver’s insurance — the driver will not actually pay your injury claim. Furthermore, you could have thousands of dollars in medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. You need to take action to protect yourself and to protect your family.
In some cases, you could be held accountable for a portion of the damages from a car accident even though you were the passenger. In Pobor v. Western Pacific Railroad Co., the court ruled that a passenger must “exercise ordinary care for his own safety.” In other words, you should always wear your seat belt and never ride with a person you know to be under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. To do so could negatively impact your injury claim by lowering the amount you are entitled to receive for your damages. Even if you believe you may be partially to blame for your injuries, you should always consult with a Carlsbad car accident injury lawyer. You could still be entitled to partial compensation from the driver.
What If The Other Driver Is At Fault For The Car Crash?
If the other driver is at fault, your car accident injury lawyer files a claim against that driver’s insurance policy. You can recover the same damages you would as if you were the driver of your vehicle. You may be entitled to receive compensation for:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Physical pain
- Emotional suffering
- Loss of earning capacity
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
If the driver at fault does not have automobile insurance, you may be entitled to recover compensation under your driver’s uninsured motorist coverage or your own uninsured motorist coverage.
What If Both Drivers Are At Fault For The Car Crash?
You definitely want to contact an experienced car accident injury lawyer if both drivers are at fault or if the drivers are arguing about fault. This can have a substantial impact on your accident claim. You could be in a position where you can file a claim against both drivers’ insurance policies. However, you could also be in a situation where both insurance companies are denying coverage.
Actually, it is always a wise idea to contact a California car accident injury lawyer in any situation where you are a passenger in a car crash. Insurance companies can be extremely difficult to deal with and insurance adjuster work diligently to lower the amount of compensation the insurance company must pay to accident victims (that is their job). Therefore, to protect your right to receive a full and fair settlement, contact a car accident injury lawyer as soon as possible after a car crash.
Contact A California Car Accident Injury Lawyer
The Levinson Law Group represents clients throughout California. Contact our office at 1-760-827-1700 or use our convenient online contact form to ask a question or to schedule a free consultation with a Carlsbad car accident injury lawyer.