- In 2014, 5,751 passengers were killed in motor vehicle crashes.
- In 2015, 6,059 passengers were killed, an increase of over 5%.
- 27% of car crash fatalities were passengers.
- There were 275 motorcycle passenger fatalities and 95% of these were female.
- 663 of these fatalities were children 12 and younger and in 2014. More than 121,350 children were injured.
A passenger in a vehicle accident is considered free of liability unless:
The passenger commits an overt act that distracted the driver.
The passenger in some way contributed to the accident.
The passenger knowingly gets into a vehicle with an intoxicated driver.
After an accident, what information does a passenger need to get?
Names and insurance information of all drivers involved
Information about what happened to lead up to the accident
Weather or road conditions at the time of the accident
All drivers involved in the accident, including the driver of the vehicle the passenger was in;
The drivers of other cars in the accident
All drivers involved in the accident including the one the passenger was in
Owners of the vehicles involved and not just the driver
The manufacturers of the vehicles themselves
The government agency or office responsible for maintaining the roads where the accident took place
Who is responsible to pay for the injuries of a passenger? Some common scenarios include:
The driver of the vehicle the passenger was in is determined at fault: Their liability insurance coverage should provide for medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost wages to a limit once a claim is made.
○ Special rules may apply if the passenger is related to the driver.
The other vehicle’s driver is at fault: The passenger can make a claim on that driver’s liability insurance even if it was determined as shared fault between the drivers. The maximum that can be received is the total claim against all drivers.
Passengers can also file a claim on the medical portion of their own automotive policy. This is not based on liability but does not include any lost wages or pain and suffering that the passenger incurred.
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“During the course of the litigation there where a number of settlement offers which the firm promptly and dutifully communicated to me and urged me not to accept. They were right. In the end they got me an enormous amount of money for my injuries and loss of earnings; far more than I could have ever imagined.”