What to Do as an Injured Passenger
July 8, 2022
It can be confusing, even traumatizing, to be in a car accident as a passenger. Contrary to what many people might think, you have rights as an injured passenger. If you were injured as a passenger in someone else’s vehicle, you need to know what steps to take to obtain compensation for your injuries.
As a car accident attorney at The Law Office of Kyle S. Hall, I assist drivers and passengers involved in motor vehicle accidents. I completely understand that the aftermath of a car crash can be complicated and overwhelming. That is why I am here to guide you through the insurance claims process and help you understand what you can do as an injured passenger in Hazard, Kentucky, or other parts of the state.
Determining Fault in Kentucky
Kentucky is one of a handful of states that adheres to a “choice no-fault” system. The no-fault system in Kentucky dictates how people injured in motor vehicle accidents can seek compensation for their injuries and losses. However, since Kentucky is a “choice no-fault” state, motorists can opt out of the no-fault system to file a lawsuit after the crash.
In no-fault states like Kentucky, an injured person must first file a claim with their own insurance provider to seek compensation for medical expenses, loss of income, and other covered losses and damages, even if that person was at fault for the collision.
Thus, if you are an injured passenger, you may be covered under the insurance coverage of the driver of the vehicle in which you were riding when the collision occurred. However, injured passengers in Kentucky may also be able to step outside of the no-fault system and seek compensation through the other driver’s insurance company as long as their case meets the following criteria:
The injured party sustained $1,000 or more in medical expenses; or
The injured party suffered a fracture of the bone (displaced, compressed, or compound), permanent loss of bodily function, permanent injury, disfigurement, or any weight-bearing bone fractures.
If your case meets the above-mentioned requirements, you may be able to recover damages by contacting an attorney to help file a liability claim against the driver of the other vehicle.
Filing a Claim When Injured as a Passenger
The process of seeking compensation as an injured passenger after a car accident can become complicated because there may be several options for recovering damages in a “choice no-fault” state such as Kentucky. There are two types of claims you can file when injured as a passenger in Kentucky:
A third-party claim. An injured passenger may be able to file an insurance claim against the driver of the vehicle in which you were riding or the other driver involved in the crash. Filing a third-party claim is an option if one or both motorists have opted out of Kentucky’s no-fault system.
A no-fault claim. If a driver does not opt out of the no-fault system, they must file a claim with their own insurance provider in order to seek compensation, regardless of who is responsible for causing the accident. As a passenger, you may be able to recover compensation through the insurance provider of the vehicle in which you were riding when the collision occurred.
Seeking compensation as an injured passenger in Kentucky can be tricky if you do not understand how the state’s “choice no-fault system” works. For this reason, reach out to a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who can guide you through the insurance claims process and explain your options to you.
In some crashes, passengers can be held at fault for causing or contributing to the accident. Kentucky follows the pure comparative negligence law, which states that each party involved in an accident can seek compensation proportionate to their degree of fault.
Thus, even if you, as an injured passenger, contributed to a car accident, you could still obtain compensation for your losses in proportion to your level of responsibility. It means that the recoverable amount will be reduced by the percentage of your fault.
“But can passengers be responsible for causing a car accident?” you may wonder. The answer is yes. In some cases, a passenger can be partially or fully responsible for causing a crash. For example, a passenger may be at fault for an accident if they intentionally obstructed the driver’s view or grabbed the steering wheel to drive the car into another vehicle or crash into a stationary object.
Getting injured as a passenger and then seeking compensation for your injuries can be complicated, especially if you do not know where to start. An experienced attorney can help you pursue the compensation you need.
Personalized Legal Advocacy at
The Law Office of Kyle S. Hall
Figuring out what to do as an injured passenger after a car accident can be a daunting task. However, you do not have to go through this alone. At The Law Office of Kyle S. Hall, I can help you with your claim, whether you are an injured driver or passenger. Get personalized legal advocacy and genuine guidance by contacting my office in Hazard, Kentucky. I’m proud to serve clients throughout the state of Kentucky, including Hazard, Letcher, Knott, Leslie, and Perry counties.