Though the law involving traffic is clearly defined, it may not be so easy to understand what the right course of action should be.
The disputes regarding car accidents generally revolve around identifying what party is to blame, and therefore liable for compensation for injuries. However, one matter is very clear: as a passenger, there is usually no question of whether you are at-fault or not.
As such, you can legally file a claim for damages to any injuries you sustained as a result of the vehicle collision, and there are a number of different possibilities.
What Does the Law Say?
According to the Missouri statutes, all drivers are required to carry auto insurance to have a valid license. That way, they are protected in case of an accident. But when the person wanting to file a claim is the passenger, there are three options to take:
1. File a Claim against One of the Drivers
If the driver you were with is found responsible for the action, then they are generally liable for compensation. The same principle applies if the guilt falls on the driver of the other vehicle. In any case, as a passenger, you’ll likely have to file a claim through the insurance company of the driver accountable for your injuries.
2. File a Claim with Your Insurance Company
You can also file a claim with your company carrying your health insurance, either to get extra funds to cover medical bills or in the event that neither driver can be held liable for any damages. However, this policy only covers your medical expenses, so if you’ve sustained any property damage, or even if you’ll have to miss days from work while recovering, these expenses may not be covered.
3. Filing a Claim Against Other At-Fault Parties
In some cases, the drivers aren’t the ones responsible for the collision. In these situations, it’s possible there are other parties who can be held accountable like, for instance, governmental institutions.
It’s possible to file a claim for your injuries against these third-parties, but the process itself can be extremely complicated. This is best discussed with an experienced attorney.
Are You Liable?
It’s not impossible for a passenger to be found guilty of causing a car accident. For instance, if you pull the driver’s wheel, or intentionally distract them from the road, you could also be held responsible for the collision, and therefore you are open to liability.
In such cases, passengers can even face criminal charges, if it is found they intentionally caused the collision. However, these circumstances are rare.
Each Case Is Unique
Though the law involving traffic is clearly defined, it may not be so easy to understand what the right course of action should be. That’s because the defining elements of your case can say a lot about the outcome.
Because of this, you should discuss your case with an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer before you take any course of action. With their help, you can understand your case and how you should proceed to get compensated. Give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 for a FREE case evaluation.