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Were You Injured as a Passenger in an Automobile Accident?
Being involved in an automobile accident is an extremely stressful event. As a passenger, if you are injured in a crash through no fault of your own, you may be wondering whether you can receive compensation and who from.
As the passenger, someone else is likely responsible for your injuries, whether your driver or the driver of the other vehicle. Where you know the at-fault driver personally, seeking compensation from them may feel strange. However, rest assured that legal action is always taken against a person’s insurance company, not them as an individual.
If you have been injured as a passenger in Charleston or anywhere in South Carolina, Allen Law can help you navigate this difficult time and fight for your right to compensation. Call us today at (843) 882-5005 for a free consultation.
As a smaller client-focused firm, we treat clients as real people — not file numbers”
- Julian Allen
Your Rights as a Passenger
Passengers involved in automobile accidents will be relieved to hear that they have the same rights as drivers. The fact that you were a passenger and not a driver in the collision does not prevent you from obtaining compensation against the at-fault party’s insurer.
In South Carolina, all drivers are required to maintain minimum levels of liability insurance, as well as insurance for themselves against under-insured drivers. If the driver of the other vehicle is at fault, you can pursue a claim against their insurance provider. Similarly, where the driver of the vehicle you were in is at fault, you can pursue a claim against their insurance provider.
If the person you are seeking compensation from is underinsured and you own an insured vehicle, you can rely on your uninsured motorist coverage to receive compensation for the accident. You may also be able to rely on your Personal Injury Protection coverage or MedPay coverage if applicable.
Whether the driver of your vehicle or the driver of the other vehicle is clearly at fault, the process of receiving compensation begins with filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurer.
However, where fault is disputed (i.e., it is unclear whether the driver of your vehicle or the other vehicle caused the crash), as a passenger, you can bring proceedings against either or both driver’s insurance policies.
In some cases, where both parties dispute their liability, it may be necessary to take the case to trial for a hearing to determine fault and compensation.
The Legal Process and Why you Need a Lawyer
In cases where it is clear which party is at fault and that party’s insurance provider accepts their liability, they will likely offer you a settlement figure as compensation for your injuries and related losses. However, this is not always a fair sum. A lawyer will help you evaluate any settlement offers against what you may receive in court to determine whether this is an appropriate figure.
Where attempts to settle with the at-fault party’s insurance provider fail, a lawyer can take the case to trial to prove liability and establish your right to favorable compensation. The compensation you may be eligible to receive, either through a settlement or after a trial, can involve compensation for economic losses (such as medical bills and lost income) as well as non-economic losses (such as pain and suffering from the injury).
Having a skilled Charleston car accident lawyer can be the difference between a successful or failed claim and you receiving either insufficient or fair compensation. With Allen Law on your side, your chances of a favorable outcome are drastically increased. Call us today at (843) 882-5005.