- 1. Injured as a Passenger in a Car Crash? Start Here.
- 2. Passengers’ Rights and Options After a Crash
- 3. Roadblocks for Car Accident Passengers Who Are Owed Compensation
- 4. Complication #2: When Neither Side Agrees to Settle
- 5. Crosley Law Firm: Advocating for Injured Passengers in San Antonio and Throughout Texas
Injured as a Passenger in a Car Crash? Start Here.
As a passenger who has been injured in a car crash, you may be entitled to compensation from the driver or drivers who are found to be negligent in the wreck. Passengers are not held liable for a car collision. Instead, the fault lies with drivers of vehicles involved in the crash. This can include the driver of the vehicle you were in as well as drivers of other vehicles involved in the crash.
If you or a loved one was a passenger injured in a car crash, it’s important to understand what your rights are, potential roadblocks that exist with injury claims, and who you should contact if you are an injured passenger from a car wreck. We’ll discuss all of those things below.
Passengers’ Rights and Options After a Crash
As an injured passenger involved in a car wreck, you have rights to certain compensation from the at-fault parties in the crash. Reimbursement for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering are some of the most common forms of compensation for passengers who have been injured in a vehicle collision.
Below are some of the common methods for receiving compensation as a passenger after a car wreck.
Third–Party Insurance Claims
Injured passengers can make a third-party insurance claim because they are not liable for causing the car crash, meaning that you can file the claim under an insurance policy that is not your own. In cases involving multiple vehicles where more than one driver was at fault, a claim can be filed with all the drivers’ insurance companies. This option can be useful if no single driver has enough vehicle liability coverage to pay your expenses. In this way, the costs for your claim can be split between multiple insurance policies and allow you to receive full compensation.
“Injured passengers can make a third-party insurance claim because they are not liable for causing the car crash.”
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage
Unfortunately, a large number of San Antonio drivers are either uninsured or only carry Texas’ minimum level of coverage. If you’re seriously injured in a car accident, your medical bills and lost wages might quickly surpass the state minimums. At Crosley Law Firm, we encourage all drivers to purchase a UIM policy, which covers some or all of your accident-related medical expenses and lost income when an at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured. You might have claims against your personal UIM policy as well as the UIM policy of the driver you were riding with.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage
If you or the driver you were riding with has a personal injury protection (PIP) policy, it might cover some or all of your medical bills and lost income, regardless of who was at-fault for the accident. While many PIP policies are very limited, they sometimes pay financial assistance when other insurance policies dispute coverage.
Medical Payments Coverage
Medical payment coverage, or “med pay,” is another helpful option for receiving compensation. If you have med pay coverage under your automobile policy, consider making a claim for medical payments. Med pay coverage often pays out sooner because it does not depend on factors such as who is at fault. However, as the name suggests, med pay will only cover medical expenses. Additionally, most med pay coverage policies are very limited, so keep in mind that even if you do have med pay coverage, you may still want to file a personal injury claim to receive full compensation for your medical costs and any other expenses you wish to claim.
“If you have med pay coverage under your automobile policy, consider making a claim for medical payments.”
Because these coverage options get complicated very quickly, speaking with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after a crash is usually your best course of action. During a free consultation, attorneys like the ones at Crosley Law Firm can help you understand what your rights and options are for compensation. And if they can take on your case, they will investigate and handle your insurance claims, medical bills, and more.
Whether you try to handle your claim on your own or enlist the help of an attorney, some roadblocks can arise for passengers who file injury claims and seek compensation.
Roadblocks for Car Accident Passengers Who Are Owed Compensation
Two major complications that you may face as an injured passenger include multiple passengers seeking compensation and disputes over which driver is at fault.
Complication #1: When Multiple Passengers Are Involved in a Crash
In a crash involving more than one passenger, insurance policy limits on compensation can be reached very quickly. For example, Texas requires minimum insurance to cover $30,000 per vehicle occupant, but only $60,000 per incident.
In a simple two-car crash where there is only one passenger injured and both drivers are at fault, the passenger’s costs can be split between the two insurance policies, which allows the passenger to recover a substantial amount from both parties before hitting policy limits. However, the drivers may make claims against each other and cut into that total.
“In a case where multiple passengers have claims against a single insurance policyholder, policy limits can be a significant problem.”
In a case where multiple passengers have claims against a single insurance policyholder, policy limits can be a significant problem. A maxed-out insurance policy will result in passengers not receiving the full value of their personal injury claims.
For example, if two or more passengers are injured in a crash and only one driver is determined to be at fault, that specific driver’s insurance coverage maximum of $60,000 has to be split between all of the passengers and the driver who was not at fault.
Unfortunately, if passengers sustained anything beyond minor injuries, it is unlikely that the negligent driver’s policy will cover the full costs of everyone’s injuries. Consider this: the average per-person cost of a crash involving moderate injuries was $48,793 in the most recent year with complete data. If two people have moderate injuries, they have already exceeded the policy limit. For severe injuries, that cost jumps to $169,611 per person, which is well above the minimum policy limits for most insured Texas drivers.
In cases like these, each passenger may have to settle for less than they are due, and if they cannot agree on who receives which percentage of the available compensation, the injured passengers will have to file suit and may even need to go all the way to court.
Complication #2: When Neither Side Agrees to Settle
In multiple-car collisions, injured passengers can also get caught in the middle of a battle between two drivers (or insurance companies) who cannot come to an agreement with each other over who is at fault and to what degree. Regardless of how the insurance companies and drivers try to determine liability, passengers’ settlements will typically be delayed until the settlement or verdict comes in regarding driver fault.
“Because of these potential complications, you should talk to an attorney right away after a crash.”
Because of these potential complications, you should talk to an attorney right away after a crash. A dedicated and experienced attorney will stand up for your rights, help you navigate legal complexities, and save you time and frustration so you can focus on healing and move on with your life after a crash.
They can also investigate all the possibilities for insurance coverage to try and get you the compensation you need to cover your medical bills and other losses.
Crosley Law Firm: Advocating for Injured Passengers in San Antonio and Throughout Texas
The attorneys at Crosley Law Firm take passenger injuries very seriously. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car wreck as a passenger, contact our office right away. Call 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000 or fill out a quick and easy contact form to schedule your free consultation.
Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to address your questions and concerns, and we will fight to get you and your loved ones compensation for your losses. We have a no-fee policy, which means you don’t owe us a dime in legal fees or expenses unless we help you get a settlement or win your case in court.
Don’t wait. Contact us today!
Blincoe, L. J., Miller, T. R., Zaloshnja, E., & Lawrence, B. A. (2015, May). The economic and societal impact of motor vehicle crashes, 2010. (Revised) (Report No. DOT HS 812 013). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Retrieved from https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812013
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.
Related ArticlesView All Blog Articles
Who is at fault in a T-bone accident in Texas?Feb 02, 2024
If you have been involved in a T-bone car accident, read this blog to learn who could be at-fault and how Crosley Law can help.
Delayed Symptoms After a Car Accident Could Be a Sign of Serious InjuriesJan 26, 2024
Delayed injuries and delayed symptoms are extremely common after car accidents. Time after time, we’ve heard variations on the same story from our clients: “I thought I was doing okay in the hours after the crash, but the next morning I could hardly move due to my back and neck pain.” Later medical exams might […]
What Are Some Typical Car Accident Injury Settlement Amounts in Texas?Jan 24, 2024
One of the first questions most car accident victims ask is, “How much should I expect from my car accident settlement?” After a crash, you may be dealing with significant medical bills and lost wages—not to mention physical pain, emotional trauma, and stress about managing your personal affairs and relationships. Considering that the average car […]
Does Health Insurance Cover Car Accidents in Texas?Dec 13, 2023
After an auto accident, medical bills start to pile up quickly. Even if all you need is a quick trip to the emergency room and a couple follow-up appointments with a specialist, your medical expenses could still be enough to cause economic hardship. You may have heard that, in Texas, the at-fault driver is supposed […]
Quick Guide to Car Accident Face Injuries and Your Personal Injury ClaimDec 07, 2023
Facial trauma is an all-too-common yet often overlooked injury in San Antonio auto collisions. The head, face, and neck are all incredibly vulnerable in high-impact motor vehicle collisions. Whether from the initial impact, shattered glass, deployment of airbags, or being thrust into the interior of the vehicle, drivers and passengers frequently sustain painful and serious […]
Delayed Concussion Symptoms and Post-Concussion Syndrome Following a Motor Vehicle Crash: The Lingering ImpactJul 12, 2023
Concussions are among the most frequent injuries brought on by car accidents. Unfortunately, sometimes even “mild” concussions can have disastrous effects. While many people fully recover from their concussion, a significant percentage (roughly 15 to 20 percent) still experience persistent post-concussion symptoms months or even years after the initial head injury. And because concussion symptoms […]
How to Deal With a Private Investigator After a Car AccidentApr 21, 2023
After a car wreck, you may feel like your every move is being scrutinized. Unfortunately, it may not be just your imagination. If you notice an unfamiliar car parked in front of your home, school, or workplace; or if you receive a strange friend request on social media, a private investigator might be tracking your […]
What Is the Average Payout for a Rear-End Collision?Mar 13, 2023
You were stopped at a red light, minding your own business. Suddenly, a truck rear-ends you, pushing your car into the middle of an intersection. Now, you’re living with severe back pain and your doctors are suggesting surgery. Your car accident case is worth a lot of money, right? Maybe. The reality is, there’s no […]
Who Is at Fault in a Multi-Car Accident in Texas?Mar 09, 2023
After a multi-car accident, drivers and insurance companies often point fingers at each other, trying to shift blame to someone else. But if you suffered life-changing injuries, you deserve to know exactly what happened, which driver (or drivers) were responsible, and which liability insurance will pay for your medical bills and other damages. But getting […]
I’m Being Blamed for a Car Accident That Wasn’t My Fault—What Should I Do?Feb 22, 2023
“My word against your word” scenarios happen all the time after auto accidents, especially when there are few other witnesses at the scene. Being accused of causing a car crash that wasn’t your fault can make you feel helpless and angry, especially when no one else is around to support your story. Getting blamed for […]
Do you or a family member
need legal advice?
Crosley Law Firm, PC is a professional corporation of trial lawyers focused on representing individuals and families who have suffered serious personal injuries or wrongful death.