Can I File a California Auto Accident Claim if I Was Injured as a Passenger?


At Hanning & Sacchetto, LLP, our Whittier auto accident attorneys know that passengers are just as likely to be injured in a California vehicle collision as the driver. Whether you were a passenger in a vehicle with the driver who caused the crash, or the vehicle that was hit by a negligent driver, you could not have caused nor prevented the accident.

Since passengers are not responsible for vehicle collisions, the bigger question becomes, who can they hold liable for their injuries?

Our Los Angeles County car accident lawyers have answers.

Who Can an Injured Passenger Hold Liable for Their Injuries?

Determining who the at-fault party depends on the unique circumstances of each case; however generally the at-fault party falls into one of two categories:

  • The driver of the vehicle the passenger was riding in.
  • Another third party whose negligent actions caused the collision.

If the driver of the vehicle you were in was negligent and caused the crash, you may be eligible to pursue their insurance coverage for your compensation needs, with one potential exception. If the at-fault driver is a close relative with whom you share a vehicle insurance policy, you may be ineligible to file a claim against that policy. This exception is designed to prevent fraudulent insurance claims.

If the driver was a family member or friend with whom you do not share a vehicle insurance policy, pursuing him or her for your financial recovery could be an uncomfortable next step. Our experienced auto accident attorneys in Whittier & Arcadia can help remove the personal connection from the equation, by pursuing their insurance coverage directly, so the friend or family member is not personally responsible for your damages.

If the vehicle collision was caused by another negligent driver, you, and any other injured party in the vehicle, can pursue the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage to compensate you for your damages.

Another viable option for pursuing damages after you have been injured as a passenger in a vehicle collision is to pursue your personal auto insurance carrier if you have uninsured/underinsured motorists insurance coverage. This additional coverage is not required by California law, but if you opted for coverage, it could help cover your expenses after a crash when the at-fault driver’s policy limits do not cover your complete injury expenses.

If you were injured as a passenger in a California auto accident, you have rights. We can help you enforce them, so you are not left paying for your expenses out of pocket.

Contact Our Experienced Auto Accident Attorneys in Whittier, California

Contact our skilled personal injury attorneys in Arcadia & Whittier, California at Hanning & Sacchetto today by calling (562) 698-6446 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and options to pursue the at-fault driver for your full financial recovery.

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