What are the Rights of an Injured Passenger?
Vehicle passengers who are harmed in car accidents have legal rights. The focus of most car accidents is on the driver or drivers of the vehicles involved, and for a good reason. These people will ultimately be responsible for the costs and damages associated with the collision, along with any potential criminal liability.
However, passengers are legally entitled to compensation for their injuries and accident-related losses when a driver or other party’s negligence caused those damages.
Who is Liable for a Passenger’s Injuries?
Liability or responsibility for paying a passenger’s medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and more resides with the party or parties at fault for the car accident. If the accident only involved a single vehicle, the responsibility lies with the driver and, subsequently, the driver’s insurance company to pay any damages.
When two or more vehicles are involved in a crash, the question of responsibility becomes more complex. Any insurance companies will investigate the accident to determine each party’s degree or percentage of fault.
Why Percentage of Fault Matters in Arizona
Arizona is an at-fault insurance state meaning a party responsible for an accident is liable for the damages they cause. However, in Arizona, they are only liable for their percentage of the fault. This system of fault is called comparative fault.
For example, an investigation may reveal that fault lies 40% with one driver and 60% with the other. Therefore, a passenger may pursue the appropriate percentage of their damages, 40% from one driver and 60% from the other.
This system of fault typically causes insurance companies to blame one another’s clients for an accident. Therefore any party involved should retain a car accident attorney to protect their rights and file a court case when necessary.
Insurance Minimums in Arizona
Car insurance is mandatory in Arizona. Arizona requires all motorists to carry insurance minimums in the following amounts:
- $15,000 for bodily injury or death of one individual in an accident caused by the insured driver;
- $30,000 for bodily injury or death for all injured people in an accident caused by the insured driver; and
- $10,000 for property damage per accident caused by the insured driver.
Insurance will cover any expenses up to the policy limit.
If a driver is underinsured or uninsured, other insurance may be available to compensate any victims. An experienced car accident attorney can research individual or company policies to find qualifying coverage for accident-related losses.
Protecting Your Passenger Injury Claim
The most important steps you can take to protect your legal rights in a passenger injury claim include:
- Asking for any driver contact and car insurance information at the scene of the accident;
- Seeking medical attention immediately for any injuries and attend follow-up care appointments;
- Keeping any accident-related medical records and receipts;
- Logging time spent away from work or missed job opportunities; and
- Retaining an experienced car accident attorney before making any statements to insurance company representatives.
Do not speak with an insurance company before seeking legal advice. Insurance companies are interested in protecting their clients and bottom lines, not paying out injury claims.
Contact an Experienced Arizona Car Accident Attorney Today
Call or contact Knapp & Roberts today to get professional legal advice about your car accident injury claim. You deserve compensation for any out-of-pocket expenses, missed work, and accident-related losses you suffered through no fault of your own.
At Knapp & Roberts, we provide complimentary consultations and claim assessments to accident victims. Schedule yours now and start your path towards healing today.
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The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.