Florida Personal Injury – What if I’m injured as a passenger in a vehicle and my driver is at fault?
What happens if you’re injured in a car accident – but you weren’t driving? Do you have a claim? What if the driver of the car you were riding in is at fault? These are all common questions regarding being involved in an accident as a passenger, and this guide will answer them.
Trust the ProcessLuckily, the process for making a claim as a passenger is the same, no matter which car you were in. The at-fault party is responsible for your injuries no matter what. Being the passenger can actually be easier, because it won't be your responsibility to determine liability: one of the drivers is going to be liable. From there, it will be just like any other claim: proving the defendant's liability and proving your damages. As a precaution, make sure to get everyone's insurance information, because you may not know right away who was at fault - even if it seems obvious! Remember, the police report is not 100% indicative of liability and many factors can affect a case down the line.
Exceptions to CoverageThere are several exceptions that can affect your claim as a passenger in a car accident. The first is the resident relative exclusion, which states that an insurance policy does not provide coverage for "any bodily injury" to "any insured or any member of an insured's family residing in the insured's household." This provision is of course to avoid potential fraud where your family member may just claim to be at fault, regardless if it is true, so you can go after his or her bodily injury coverage. Another exception is if you're riding as a passenger in your own car. Your own policy will usually not cover you if you're involved in an accident as a passenger. If applicable, you can still make an uninsured or under-insured motorist claim (UM/UIM) as a passenger.
RepresentationMaking a claim as a passenger is simpler in theory, but these cases can become complicated quickly if the parties involved are in dispute over the issue of liability. If you've been injured as a passenger in a car accident, speak to your local personal injury lawyer to make sure that you're going to be compensated. Having an attorney to represent you specifically can be the crucial difference between being covered and being left out in the cold. Good luck!