Getting into a car accident can be doubly frightening if you are a passenger. You have no control over either vehicle, and no opportunity to avoid or mitigate the crash. When you are hurt as a passenger, you may be unsure about what your legal options are. The good news is that you can recover compensation from the driver who caused your injuries. However, the process may look slightly different, and you will probably want an attorney to guide you through your claim.
Who Can I Recover Compensation From for My Passenger Injuries?
Who you can seek compensation from depends on who caused your injuries. If the driver of the car you were riding in caused the accident, then your claim is against him (or his insurance company). However, if a third party caused the wreck, then that driver is liable to you regardless of whether you were driving or riding in the not-at-fault vehicle. In this case, you and the driver of the car you were in may be able to work together on your claims in some ways. The body of evidence you will need is going to overlap significantly.
If your claim is against the driver of the car you were in, however, you may be reluctant to call a lawyer and bring a claim. You probably do not often get into a car with people you do not know – odds are, the driver is someone you have a relationship with. Keep in mind that assuming your friend has insurance, it will be their auto insurance company on the hook for your damages, and not your friend personally.
In some cases, the fault for the accident is shared between multiple drivers. It is possible that both the driver of the car you were in and another driver are both partially to blame. In this case, you are in a somewhat advantageous position because you can seek damages from more than one negligent driver.
What if the Responsible Driver is My Family Member?
If the driver who injured you is a member of your household, you may have a harder time recovering damages. Most Illinois insurance policies contain household exclusion clauses so that the insurance company will not be responsible for injuries to one person caused by a close family member in the same household. There are limited statutory exceptions to these clauses, but you will need to consult an experienced attorney to determine whether you could recover under one of them.
Call a Cook County Car Accident Lawyer
If you were injured as a passenger in a motor vehicle crash, Barrington Injury Attorneys may be able to recover compensation on your behalf. Our experienced Barrington car accident attorneys will evaluate your case to identify all possible defendants and start the claims process. Call 847-381-8700 to arrange a free consultation.