Car crashes can be devastating. When someone’s negligent driving causes you serious injury, you may need to pursue a claim against them for medical expenses, lost wages and more.
What happens when you’re a passenger in someone’s car? Can you sue or file an insurance claim against them?
Who can sue the driver?
Generally, passengers in Florida are covered by the driver’s personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, assuming they did not live with the driver as a relative or own their own vehicle at the time of the accident. Generally, most Florida insurance policies don’t allow resident relatives to sue.
If the driver’s negligence caused the action, and they were not a resident relative at the time of the accident, the passenger may be able to sue for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and related expenses that PIP insurance didn’t cover.
Florida is also a no-fault insurance state. In order to be able to sue, the passenger must have suffered injuries which exceed the threshold for no-fault insurance claims. They typically have four years from the date of the accident to file a claim. This is called the statute of limitations, and when it runs out, you’ll no longer be able to sue.
Can passengers ever be responsible for accidents?
In some cases, passengers may bear partial or full responsibility for the accident. For example, someone who grabs the wheel or otherwise interferes with the driver’s ability to safely operate the vehicle may be held liable.
The best way to find out whether you’re eligible to file a claim as an injured passenger is to talk to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
To learn whether you have an eligible claim, reach out to a skilled Sarasota, FL auto accident lawyer at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh today.