What are My Rights as a Passenger if I'm Injured in a California Car Accident?

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What are My Rights as a Passenger if I’m Injured in a California Car Accident?

What are My Rights as a Passenger if I’m Injured in a California Car Accident?

Jul 5, 2022

Car accidents are a common occurrence on California’s busy roads and highways, particularly here in Los Angeles County. In 2021, California reported approximately 4,161 motor vehicle-related deaths, according to data provided by Statista.com. That figure represents a slight increase from 2020.

What are My Rights as a Passenger if I’m Injured in a California Car Accident?

Nationally, traffic fatalities reportedly hit a 61-year high in 2021, according to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The NHTSA projects that an estimated 42,915 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2021, a 10.5% increase from the 38,824 fatalities recorded in 2020.

In the United States, your lifetime odds of dying in a motor vehicle accident is roughly 1 in 101, according to Statista. Car accident fatalities represent veritable tragedies, but the odds of being injured in a motor vehicle collision are actually significantly higher.

Roughly 3 million people are injured in the U.S. every year as a result of car accidents. In addition, around 2 million drivers reportedly experience permanent injuries annually in the U.S.

Let’s look at what you should do if you’ve been injured as a passenger in a car accident. In the sections below, we will review what your rights entail when you’ve suffered an injury as a passenger in a car accident due to negligence, look at what types of damages may be recovered through a civil lawsuit, and discuss how to arrange for a free and no obligation consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer from Dordulian Law Group.

Do I Have the Right to Financial Compensation if I’ve Been Injured as a Passenger in a Car Accident?

In California, the law ensures that passengers who are injured in car accidents caused by negligence may recover financial compensation for various types of damages. The best way to go about obtaining maximum financial compensation for any losses you’ve endured as a passenger in a car accident is by filing a personal injury civil lawsuit.

But determining fault, as well as who you should file your claim with, can be a daunting task without the assistance of a skilled car accident lawyer.

After a car accident injury, you may be experiencing a great deal of pain and suffering, as well as the stress of mounting medical bills, lost wages, and more. Having a proven car accident lawyer from Dordulian Law Group (DLG) fighting in your corner can help ensure that your rights are protected, the at-fault party is notified of your claim and pursuit of justice, and the maximum financial compensation you deserve and require to make a complete recovery – physically, emotionally, and financially – is aggressively sought.

Who is Liable for My Car Accident Injury if I Was a Passenger?

Who is Liable for My Car Accident Injury if I Was a Passenger?

Determining the at-fault party responsible for your car accident passenger injury will require a thorough review of the facts of your case. If the driver of the vehicle you were riding in was liable, it may be best to file a claim against his or her insurance company. If a third-party driver was at fault in the crash which caused your passenger injury, filing a claim against his or her insurance company may be the best course of action.

Moreover, it should be noted that, depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be able to file a claim against the at-fault driver directly, or against your own insurance policy. These options may be in addition to filing a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company.

The best way to determine who is liable for your car accident injury as a passenger is by sitting down for a free consultation with a dedicated attorney from DLG. We’ll review the facts of your case, discuss all available legal options, thoroughly explain your rights as a passenger, provide an estimate for how long your claim may take to settle, and offer an estimate of how much your case may be worth.

What Factors Can Impact My Car Accident Injury Claim as a Passenger?

If you were injured in a car accident as a passenger and the crash was due to another person’s negligence – whether that individual was the driver of your vehicle, the driver of another vehicle, or even a pedestrian – you likely have a right to recover financial compensation for damages.

However, there are some scenarios that may impact a car accident injury claim filed on behalf of a passenger. Some of those scenarios include:

  • You were not wearing your seatbelt at the time of the crash.
  • You were riding in a vehicle and you knew the driver was intoxicated at the time of the crash.
  • You entered a vehicle knowing that it was unsafe to drive.

But while those are some examples of scenarios that may impact your claim as a passenger injured in a car accident, you should still consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to determine whether or not you are entitled to financial compensation. In many cases, although you may have done something that could be viewed as grounds for partial liability in the crash – meaning you hold some of the responsibility – you could still be able to recover financial compensation because California is a comparative fault state.

What Should I Do After Being Injured as a Passenger in a Car Accident?

After a car accident injury, regardless of whether you were the driver or passenger, it’s imperative that you undergo a thorough medical examination by a licensed physician. Receiving medical treatment after a car accident injury ensures that your health and well-being are attended to immediately. But it also ensures that you have proper documentation that can be critical to securing the maximum financial compensation you need to make a complete recovery.

In addition to receiving immediate medical treatment for your passenger car accident injury, it is recommended that, if possible, you attempt to complete the following steps:

  • Contact the police or your local law enforcement
  • File an official police report
  • Report the car accident to the California DMV
  • Gather contact information of all involved parties (take pictures of each individual’s driver’s license)
  • Gather vehicle information of all involved cars
  • Gather contact information of any witnesses
  • Take photos and videos of the accident scene
  • Take photos and videos of your injuries
  • Do not make a statement to the insurance company without an attorney present
  • Contact a skilled DLG car accident lawyer for a free consultation

For additional information related to DLG’s Top 10 Steps to Take After a Car Accident Injury, please visit our recent blog.

What Damages Can I Recover as a Passenger Injured in a Car Accident?

As a passenger injured in a California car accident, you may be entitled to substantial financial compensation by way of a civil lawsuit cash settlement. The specific damages you may be able to secure will depend largely on the facts related to your car accident injury case.

Damages are typically broken down into three categories: economic, non-economic, and punitive.

Common Passenger Car Accident Injury Economic Damages include:

  • Hospital and medical bills
  • Rehabilitation or physical therapy expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Property loss/damage

Common Passenger Car Accident Injury Non-Economic Damages include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma
  • Psychological harm
  • Reduced quality of life

Additionally, in applicable cases, DLG will fight to recover any available punitive damages on your behalf. Punitive damages are not capped in the state of California, but are typically only awarded in instances of serious negligence or disregard for human life on the part of the defendant.

Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer for a Passenger Car Accident Injury Claim?

Proving negligence in a California passenger car accident claim requires skill and experience in order to secure the maximum financial compensation you truly deserve. Fighting to recover hard to quantify damages such as pain and suffering or emotional trauma can be challenging, and that’s where DLG’s experienced car accident lawyers can help.

We have the proven results you need for peace of mind throughout every step of the passenger car accident injury claims process. We won’t settle for anything less than a maximum financial damages payout for your passenger car accident injury lawsuit.

Moreover, hiring a car accident lawyer to handle your injury claim can be in your overall best interest for a number of reasons. In fact, injured car accident victims who hire private attorneys often secure greater financial compensation for their claims.

For example, the Insurance Research Council (IRC) recently conducted a study which confirmed the following statistics in personal injury claims:

  • Settlements for injured claimants were 40% higher when they had secured private legal representation.
  • The average insurance payout was 3.5 times higher for injured victims who hired private attorneys (when compared to those representing themselves).
  • 85% of all money paid by insurance companies for bodily injuries is received by victims who have secured representation from a private personal injury attorney.

With DLG, your passenger car accident injury consultation is always free, confidential, and without any obligation. We’ll review the facts of your case and provide you with all available legal options to ensure your rights are protected and the maximum financial damages award you deserve is pursued. We serve passengers injured in car accidents throughout California as well as the United States.

Contact the Best Los Angeles, California, Car Accident Lawyers Today

DLG is a leading car accident and personal injury firm with more than 25 years of experience securing maximum financial compensation for our clients. We have helped injured passengers like you recover more than $100,000,000 in settlements and verdicts while maintaining a near-perfect 98% success record.

DLG was founded by former Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County, Sam Dordulian, who has an expansive amount of experience which includes more than 100 jury trial victories.

At DLG, our car accident injury lawyers are dedicated to fighting aggressively on your behalf to secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve. With our No Win/No Fee Guarantee, you never have to worry about up-front costs or out of pocket expenses. If we don’t recover financial compensation in the form of a cash settlement or verdict for your passenger car accident injury claim, you don’t pay a penny. Either we win or you don’t pay – it’s that simple.

Schedule an appointment online for a free consultation today, or call us directly to speak to our top-rated, expert car accident attorneys.

If you’ve suffered an injury due to negligence in a California car accident as a passenger, you owe it to yourself to pursue the greatest possible financial compensation available. Contact a member of our team today 24/7 via 818-322-4056. We’re here to answer any questions you have, to support you through the entire legal process, and to fight aggressively on your behalf to ensure justice is served.

Go See Sam