If you were a passenger injured in a car accident, you could suffer serious injuries such as broken bones, back injuries, or a traumatic brain injury. You could need expensive medical treatments and be off work for months or longer while you recover—if you can make a full recovery.
Fortunately, you have the right to receive compensation for your injuries from the negligent driver who caused the collision. However, seeking the money you deserve may be more complicated if both the driver of the vehicle you were in and another motorist were partially at fault. Whose insurance company should you file a claim with?
You may need to pursue a claim with both insurance companies. Here is why this is so important if you want to receive all the damages you are entitled to under California law.
How Both Drivers Could Have Been at Fault
Auto collisions mostly occur due to driver negligence. Speeding, drowsy driving, violations of traffic laws, distracted driving, and intoxication are a few of the reasons people cause preventable crashes.
In some cases, the actions of both motorists lead to an accident. For example, the individual driving the other vehicle could have run a red light when the driver of your auto was lawfully making a left turn. However, if the driver of your car was texting or talking on a cellphone, they may not have seen the other motorist before it was too late to stop their turn. In this scenario, both drivers could be found partially at fault for the collision. There are many other situations where the action of both drivers could have contributed to the crash.
Four Reasons You May Need to Sue Both Drivers
It is always important to pursue claims against all potentially liable parties in a car accident to ensure that you receive the maximum recovery you deserve in your settlement. This is even more crucial when you are a passenger and suffer injuries. Here’s how you could protect your rights by pursuing claims against both motorists.
1. Insufficient Insurance Coverage
The insurance company for any negligent driver is only liable to compensate you up to the policy limits. This amount could be insufficient to fully compensate you for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you file a claim with both drivers’ insurance companies, there would be more coverage for your accident-related expenses.
2. Disputed Liability
If both drivers were to blame for your accident, they could point the finger at each other and say the other was at fault and responsible for paying you. If you only pursued your claim against one motorist and they won on this argument, you would not receive any compensation for your injuries.
3. Statute of Limitations
You may be reluctant to pursue a claim against the driver of the auto you were in if they are a friend or family member unless you absolutely have to. While this is understandable, you need to remember that their insurance company—and not them—will be paying you. If you wait to see if you can recover all your damages from the motorist of the other auto before seeking compensation from the driver of the car you were in, the statute of limitations, which is the time period to sue, may have expired.
4. Multiple Parties Filing Claims
When passengers are in either or both of the vehicles involved in a car accident, it is likely that there will be more victims who suffered injuries filing claims with the insurance company. This could reduce the amount of compensation you can recover no matter how strong your claim is because the insurance company will have a limited pot of money before the policy limits are reached. You increase the likelihood that you will be fully compensated if you pursue claims against both drivers.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
If you were a passenger and suffered injuries in an auto collision, your claim can be much more complicated. If you want to win your case, it is crucial that you hire an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. They will collect the evidence you need to prove who caused your crash, identify the liable parties, and fight with the insurance companies so that you receive the maximum recovery you deserve.
Were you a passenger in a car crash in Southern California or San Diego? Start a live chat to schedule your free consultation to learn about your options and how I can assist you.