The Rights of Passengers Injured in Car Accidents
Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak on Dec 05, 2017 in Car Accidents
Every driver has a responsibility to drive in a safe manner. When he or she breaches this responsibility and causes a car accident, other individuals involved in the crash have the right to pursue compensation for the injuries they suffered – whether they were a driver or passenger in one of the vehicles.
An experienced Indiana car accident attorney can help you enforce your legal rights as a passenger in a crash. We will help you determine whether you are entitled to compensation and pursue the maximum amount you deserve.
Call us today at (844) 678-1800 for a free consultation to review your case.
Right to Compensation for Your Injuries
Indiana is an at-fault state. This means that victims of a crash can pursue compensation from the party that caused the accident.
Injured victims may be able to receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and other losses that they sustained. A seasoned car accident lawyer will be able to advise you of the types of compensation that are available to you based on the details of your accident and injury.
The first step in obtaining compensation after an accident is to determine which driver was at fault. If there were no other vehicles involved, determining liability is simple. However, if multiple vehicles were involved, one or more drivers may be determined to be at fault.
Determining who is at fault often depends on the actions of the drivers and whether one or more of them failed to exercise reasonable care. This may be proven by showing that one driver was speeding, texting while driving, drinking and driving, or engaging in other careless behavior.
If more than one party in the accident was negligent and contributed to the crash, Indiana uses comparative fault to divide and assign liability. This means that in accidents involving more than one vehicle, it may be possible to recover compensation from more than one party. Each party will be assigned a percentage of responsibility for the accident and may be responsible for paying that percentage of compensation for your injuries.
Are There Limits to My Rights?
There are time limits for filing lawsuits in Indiana called statutes of limitations. This is the deadline by which a personal injury case lawsuit must be filed.
For most motor vehicle accidents, a lawsuit must be filed within two years from the date of the accident. However, the deadlines may be shorter if you are filing a claim against an employer or the government. Insurance companies also have time limits for filing a claim, which may be very short.
Additionally, if you were partially at fault for the accident by doing something that contributed to the accident, or if you knowingly got into a vehicle with a drunk driver, your ability to recover compensation for your injuries may be reduced based on comparative negligence.
If you are more than 50 percent at fault, you will not be able to pursue compensation. However, if you were less less than 50 percent at fault, you can pursue compensation but your recovery will be reduced by your percentage of fault in the accident. For example, if an injury victim is 25 percent responsible, the compensation he or she can recover is reduced by 25 percent.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Enforce My Rights?
As a victim injured in a car accident, it is important that you hire an experienced personal injury attorney. An injury lawyer at Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak can handle every aspect of your claim. We can investigate the cause of the accident, identify all potential defendants, review applicable insurance policies, help you file a claim and handle communications with the insurance company.
Before you agree to any settlement offer, be sure to consult with a personal injury lawyer. We provide all of our services on a contingency fee basis, so you will never be charged anything upfront – and we only get paid if we help you recover compensation on your claim.