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Can a Passenger Sue After Being Involved in a Car Accident?

Stopped traffic from inside a vehicle

Imagine that you and a friend are driving to your local grocery store when you both are suddenly hit from behind by an inattentive driver. As the passenger in the vehicle, you may be wondering who will be responsible for compensating you if you have been injured. You may also be curious as to whether you need to carry your own insurance as a passenger in a vehicle. Let’s take a look at how Florida law treats passengers in car accidents and how these laws might affect the process of receiving compensation for the damages that you have suffered.

Florida Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

For purposes of car accidents, Florida is considered a no-fault state. What this means is that every driver is required to carry their own insurance to cover their own losses regardless of who is at fault for the accident. So, what about passengers? The good news is that if you carry your own car insurance, then your carrier should cover the cost of your damages up to your policy limits. You will need to review your specific policy to determine your applicable coverage.

If you do not possess insurance coverage, then your damages might be covered by the insurance held by the driver of the vehicle in which you were a passenger. In most minor accidents, the driver’s insurance policy should cover your losses under Florida’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP). However, this policy is also subject to policy limits. If damages have been sustained by you and your driver, then there may not be enough money to cover both of your claims.

Will the Other Driver’s Insurance Coverage Pay for Any Damages?

If PIP insurance coverage is unavailable to both you and your driver, then you may receive compensation from the other driver’s insurance carrier to the extent that another driver is involved. This assumes that the other driver is at fault in the accident and that you are unable to get coverage through your own insurance carrier or the carrier of your driver. Still, bodily injury coverage is not required under Florida law, so you will have to first determine if the driver of the other vehicle possesses that coverage.

Considerations for Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

There may be instances where no one that was involved in the accident is willing to cover your losses. In those cases, and in cases where insurance coverage is insufficient, you should consult with a personal injury attorney to determine your path forward. It also may be necessary to file a lawsuit against the insurance companies that insure both drivers. If more than one person is at fault, then any financial recovery for your injuries might depend on the actions of multiple insurance companies.

Consult with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney from Our Firm

Insurance alone is not guaranteed to compensate you for your losses. The bottom line is that if you are injured in a car accident, an experienced personal injury attorney will be able to guide you through the process of determining which drivers (or other parties) are at fault and how to be appropriately compensated by them, their insurance companies, or both. Our personal injury lawyers at The Watson Firm, PLLC will make sure that your case is handled in a timely and professional manner.

To schedule a consultation to discuss your case, call 850-607-2929 or contact us online today to consult with experienced counsel.