Posted on: 16 October 2015
The general assumption with passenger injury claims is that they are more straightforward as compared to claims by injured drivers. This is certainly true in two-car accidents because at least one of the drivers is going to be liable for the crash. However, this doesn't mean that passenger claims are always free of trouble. Here are three things that may complicate your claim as an injured passenger:
The Need to Make Two Claims
The law allows you to make two claims. You may make a claim under the liability of the driver of the car you were riding in, and under the insurance of the driver of the other car. You can collect damages from both drivers as long as their total doesn't exceed your claim.
This is good because it increases your chances of collecting your total claim. Unfortunately, it also increases the workload for your claim. You have to get the insurance information of both drivers and negotiate with them (separately) for a settlement. This is more difficult than dealing with a single driver.
Your Relationship with the Driver
It may be difficult to collect your total damages if you are related to the driver whose car you were riding in, and you are a member of his or her household. This is because the law considers you an insured person under your relative's coverage. In that case, filing the claim would be tantamount to making a claim against your own insurer. The only claim you may make from your relative's insurance company is for medical payments. Therefore, your relationship with the driver may reduce your total claim compensation.
The Fight Between the Two Insurers
When you file claims with both drivers' insurers, they are supposed to compensate you based on their respective liabilities. Consider an example where your total claim is $1,000,000. Suppose that driver A is 40% responsible and driver B is 60% responsible for the accident. This means driver A should pay $400,000 while driver B pays the other $600,000.
However, this will only happen if both drivers agree with the degree of their faults for the accident. If they disagree and start contesting this issue, then you will be caught in the middle of their fight. This means you have to wait until the disagreement is settled before you can collect your money.
As you can see, passenger claims aren't always as straightforward as you may think. Therefore, don't make the mistake of trying to handle one on your own, especially if you were seriously injured. Rather, consult an attorney like Boucher Law Firm to help you overcome the associated hurdles.Share