An Injured Passenger’s Rights After a Car Wreck

Written by Troy Marsh |

Car wreck claims in Georgia aren’t always between the two drivers. There are often people riding in the vehicles, too. These folks have to figure out how to recover compensation as well, and unfortunately, they might face a more complicated process than the driver.

That’s why we recommend hiring a car accident lawyer. Attorney Troy Marsh has been representing victims of motor vehicle accidents – passengers included – in and around Bulloch County for more than 26 years. Let him help you navigate the insurance and court processes.

You can reach the Marsh Law Firm online or call (912) 764-7388 to set up a free consultation.

Compensation for Injured Passengers

Passengers deserve to recover money after a car wreck if they can prove someone else caused the crash and their injuries. Under Georgia law, injured car accident passengers are entitled be compensated for their:

But, how much compensation can you get? The answer depends entirely on the facts of your case and the law. Usually, the more severe your injury, the more your case is worth. But, there are other important factors, too, like liability and insurance policy limits.

Who Caused the Crash Matters

When it comes to pursuing compensation, you have to figure out who was at fault for the collision. One of the reasons we recommend hiring a lawyer is that an attorney will investigate the accident. They’ll gather and review evidence, including the accident report, photos, witness statements, and your medical records. If necessary, they will file a lawsuit.

Was a Friend Driving the Car?

It’s frustrating to get hurt when a friend or unmarried partner is driving the car. You have to take an honest look at whether they caused the crash. If they were the negligent driver, then you can pursue compensation from them just as if they were a stranger.

It’s tough to balance the relationship with your need for compensation. We don’t recommend talking with others about the case. But, if the topic comes up, make sure they know you need money to pay your bills – not to get back at them for negligence. Attorney Troy Marsh can help you navigate these stressful situations.

Was a Relative Driving the Car?

You run into a similar situation when a relative causes a crash and your injuries. If your parent, sibling, or other relative was at fault, you may be able to recover compensation from their insurance company.

You might wonder whether you can or should file an insurance claim or sue a relative for negligence. That is a tough situation with no easy answer. It depends on all the facts and circumstances. Relationships with loved ones are more important than money, but sometimes an insurance company puts you in a situation where filing a claim or a lawsuit is your only choice.

Did Another Driver Cause the Crash?

If another driver, and not your friend or relative caused the accident, then you’ll file a third-party claim against their insurance. You may also be able to file a claim for uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance benefits under your own policy or the policy of a resident relative, even if their vehicle was not involved in the accident. Under Georgia law, the insurance company cannot cancel the policy or raise the premium if the accident was not the insured’s fault.

Were You in an Uber or Lyft?

If you were riding in an Uber or Lyft at the time of the crash, call a lawyer immediately. If the rideshare driver was at fault, you may decide to file a claim against the driver and the driver’s insurer. You also may be able to seek compensation from Uber or Lyft’s liability policy.

Multiple Insurance Policies Might Cover Your Injuries

When Attorney Troy Marsh represents you after a crash, he’ll review all the available insurance policies, including yours, the driver of the vehicle you were in, the other driver’s policy, and every other policy that may provide coverage. It’s possible to demand compensation under more than one policy.

What if There Are Several Injured Passengers?

An issue that comes up with car accident passenger claims is when two or more passengers were hurt. Auto insurance policies have a limit for bodily injuries per occurrence or per accident. The first number is usually the policy limits “per person,” and the second, usually larger, number is the policy limits “per occurrence” or “per accident.” It may look like this: “25,000/50,000/25,000.” The first number means that the most the insurer has to pay for compensation to one injured person is $25,000.00. The second number means that the most the insurer has to pay to compensate all people injured in the accident, whether that number is 1 or 100, is $50,000.00. The third number means that the most the insurer has to pay for property damage is $25,000.00. The insurer can pay the $50,000.00 per accident as it sees fit. The insurer can pay the entire $50,000.00 to the first two claimants, $25,000.00 apiece, even if that leaves 98 others that will get no money from that insurer. It may not sound fair, but that is the law. Or, the insurer can wait until all injured people have made their claims and then apportion the $50,000.00 among all of the injured people. It is the insurance company’s decision to make, not the injured person’s.

When Insurance Isn’t Enough

If a crash hurt multiple people, and the insurance company decides to divide the policy limits among the group, talk with a Georgia car accident attorney about what to do next. One of the reasons we look for all possible insurance policies is to have multiple sources of compensation.

If the insurance coverage isn’t enough to compensate you for all of your losses, you may decide to file a lawsuit. That’s a tough choice when the negligent driver could be a friend, family member, or romantic partner. The Marsh Law Firm helps you make an informed decision.

Call Attorney Troy Marsh To Make a Difference

In most car accident cases, it’s between you and one or more insurance companies. Unfortunately, an insurance company has the upper hand with years of experience, in-depth knowledge of the law and its policies, and a team of lawyers. By hiring attorney Troy Marsh, you level the playing field. He has over 26 years of experience and a strong track record of success fighting for injured passengers because auto accidents are his specialty.

Give The Marsh Law Firm a call at (912) 764-7388 or contact us online for a free consultation. Give us a chance to earn your trust and respect.