Most people have no problem filing compensation claims against at-fault drivers when they’re hurt in crashes. That’s because those at-fault drivers are usually strangers to them. But people often become hesitant to pursue compensation when the at-fault drivers aren’t just people they know, but people who were sitting right next to them in the same vehicles!
When you ride as a passenger with someone, you’re put your trust not only in other drivers on the road but also in the person behind the wheel of the vehicle you’re in. Most of us inherently trust our family members, friends, and coworkers to drive safely, and that trust often extends to paid drivers such as taxi and rideshare drivers. However, all drivers are susceptible to negligence, and when that negligence causes injuries, the victims deserve compensation.
No matter how hesitant you are to file a claim against the driver of the vehicle you were riding in, one important fact may change your mind: Unless you file a claim, all expenses you incur from the crash are yours to bear alone. That means all of your medical bills and lost wages will come out of your own pocket, and you’ll receive no recourse for your pain and suffering.
The costs of an auto accident can be significant. Even a single ambulance ride to the hospital can cost thousands of dollars. And the costs keep adding up from there, especially if you need to stay in the hospital for a few days or need surgery or intensive physical rehab to recover. Filing a claim against the at-fault driver can mean a huge financial burden will be lifted off your shoulders.
Although you’ll pay out of pocket for your expenses if you don’t file a claim, the reverse usually isn’t true. If you file a claim against the driver of the vehicle you were traveling in after a crash, their auto insurance policy will usually pay your settlement. Alabama requires that all drivers carry valid auto insurance to legally drive, and those policies also cover people in other vehicles and their own vehicles if the policyholder causes a crash.
That means that there’s little risk of financially ruining your friend or family member after a crash by seeking compensation for your expenses. At worst, their monthly premiums may increase. But that cost will likely pale in comparison to the money you’ll need to recoup your lost wages and pay for your medical bills.
If you were injured in a crash that was caused by a rideshare driver, taxi driver, or another private transportation driver, their employer may be liable for your accident-related expenses instead. Even when these employees have their own personal auto insurance policies, any accidents they cause while on the job may be handled by bigger policies that cover all of the company’s drivers.
And if your crash occurred while you and a coworker were driving to a company-related event, or you were being driven in a van or bus that was rented by your company, you also may be eligible to collect workers’ compensation benefits. That’s because your injury would have occurred during company time or in the course of company-related activities.
When you’re injured in an auto accident that wasn’t your fault, you need to be compensated for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. That’s true regardless of whether the at-fault driver was in another vehicle or was behind the wheel of the vehicle you were riding in.
At Vance Law Firm, our Montgomery auto accident lawyers know that suing the driver of the vehicle you were a passenger in can be an awkward experience—especially if the driver is someone you know and even love. But insurance exists to cover victims in all types of accident scenarios, including those that are caused by family members, friends, and coworkers.
Contact us for a free consultation if you were injured in a crash that was caused by the driver of a vehicle you were traveling in. It’s important to know your rights and avenues for getting compensation, and we can give you the information and guidance you need to make the right decisions towards maximizing your settlement.