What Are the Legal Rights for Injured Passengers in Drunk-Driving Accidents
Question: I was the backseat passenger in an SUV that was involved in a wreck with another car on Christmas Eve.
The police were called to the scene of the wreck and the police officer issued a citation to each driver for causing the wreck. The driver of the SUV I was a passenger in was given a sobriety test and taken to jail for DWI. I had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital for a broken arm and lacerations to the face. I had no idea that the person driving me was intoxicated.
As far as my medical bills, do I have a claim against the person that was driving me even though I was a passenger? What about a claim against the other driver too who may have caused the wreck?
Answer: You potentially have a claim against both drivers.
Both drivers may have contributed to causing the wreck that resulted in you getting injured. Even though you are a passenger in the SUV that may have caused the wreck, you can still bring a claim against the person that was driving you for the injuries you suffered – even if that person was driving while intoxicated.
Regardless if the SUV driver is found to be intoxicated or not, you can bring a claim against that driver's insurance policy. Also, since the police officer found both drivers at fault, the other driver may be responsible for your injuries as well. An experienced attorney will help guide you through the complicated process of pursuing a claim against two different drivers and how best to recover for the expenses, medical bills and and other damages you suffered as a result of the wreck. Insurance companies may try to deny your claim based on any knowledge you had that the driver of the SUV was intoxicated – Don't let the insurance company trick you.
A qualified, board certified attorney in personal injury law will know the law and not let the insurance companies get away with tricking you.