A four-year-old boy was killed in a car crash in May when the driver lost control of his car, drove into the median and flipped the car on U.S. 19, south of Bayshore Drive. The boy was ejected from the car and died at the scene; the driver was critically injured. Two other passengers, a 35-year-old woman and a 16-year-old girl, suffered minor injuries. The crash is still under investigation.
Can a passenger sue a negligent driver?
Single vehicle car crashes are often due to driver negligence, such as speeding, texting and driving, drunk driving or making unsafe lane changes. What happens if their passengers are seriously injured or killed? Can passengers sue the driver?
Generally, passengers may sue a negligent driver, even if they’re involved in a single vehicle car accident. In multi-car accidents, one or more drivers usually files a claim against the driver responsible for causing the accident—but as a passenger, you’re also entitled to sue the driver responsible for your accident.
Most vehicle accident cases are litigated under a theory of negligence, in which the plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed them a duty of care, they violated that duty and as a result, the plaintiff suffered actual injury. If the insurance company or jury find that the defendant was responsible for the accident, they would be responsible for paying damages.
Other responsible parties
Not all single vehicle accidents are due to driver negligence. Sometimes defective vehicles or car components can cause accidents. Roads may have dangerous potholes or other hazards. In that case, the injured passengers would be eligible to file a claim against the company or municipality responsible for failing to manufacture a safe product or maintain the roads.
If you’re injured or a loved one was killed in a single vehicle collision, call the seasoned Sarasota, FL accident attorneys at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh for more information.