In 2017, vehicle crashes caused more than 76,000 injuries to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians in Louisiana. If you have been injured in an accident where you were a passenger, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries.
Drivers have the legal obligation to use due care in their driving, including complying with state road rules and regulations. A driver is also responsible for keeping his or her passengers safe. If a driver fails to use the appropriate care as required by law, he or she is responsible for any injuries that result.
Liability and Fault
In Louisiana, a court or other finder of fact will decide who was legally at fault in an auto accident case and hold that driver (or his or her insurance company) accountable for damages (compensation to any victims for their injuries and/or property damage). You cannot recover compensation for your injuries or other damages unless you can prove that another party was liable; however, as a passenger, the driver of your vehicle may be responsible at law for your injuries even if he or she didn’t cause the accident itself.
More than one person or entity can be held jointly responsible for your injuries. A court may determine, for example, that the driver of the vehicle that you were in was 60 percent responsible for a two-car collision and the other driver was 40 percent responsible. An experienced attorney can make sure that you pursue your claims appropriately to recover from all parties that may be liable for your injuries. You may have legal claims against the driver of your vehicle, the driver(s) of other vehicles (s) involved, and possibly even third parties who share responsibility for the occurrence (for example, a strict liability claim against a car manufacturer for dangerous or defective equipment).
It can be uncomfortable for a passenger to pursue claims against the driver of the vehicle he or she was in during an accident, especially if they have a close personal relationship. However, it’s important for you to file a claim with the driver’s insurance. You may have more expenses, injuries, or long-term health consequences that are immediately apparent. Plus, your own health insurer may require you to pursue claims against a responsible party if it has paid expenses on your behalf.
Drivers carry insurance policies for precisely this reason. Making an insurance claim for your personal injuries is not an insult to a friend or relative. The insurance will compensate you for your injuries, not the individual. Although it is possible that their premiums will go up if you file a claim, it’s also possible they will go up following an accident regardless of any payments. Retaining an experienced attorney to help you pursue your claims can help reduce any uncomfortable interactions you may dread having with the driver of your vehicle.
Hire an Experienced Louisiana Car Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident where you were a passenger, seek legal counsel immediately. An experienced attorney will evaluate the facts of your case and advise on the best course of action to ensure you receive the most compensation possible. This may include recovering costs for past and future medical care, wage loss, pain and suffering, and, in cases involving DUI/DWI, possibly punitive damages.
In most cases, claims for injuries resulting from a vehicle accident must be brought to the court within a year of receiving the injury, so don’t delay. The experienced auto accident and personal injury attorneys at the Patrick Yancey Law Firm can help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Our understanding advocates will guide you every step of the way, helping to bring and resolve your claims in the most compassionate, efficient, and cost-effective manner so you can recover the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.