What Happens When You’re the Passenger and the Driver of Your Car is At Fault for the Crash?
Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic experience, especially when the driver of your vehicle is at fault. As a passenger, you may wonder what legal options are available and who is responsible for covering the damages and injuries you sustained.
In Missouri, passengers have the same rights as drivers to recover financial compensation after a collision. The auto accident attorneys at Cofman Townsley can advise you on what to expect as an injured passenger and how to seek damages.
What are Your Rights as a Passenger?
As a passenger in a car, you have the right to expect a safe and responsible driver who follows traffic laws and takes appropriate measures to prevent accidents. If the driver of the vehicle you’re in causes an accident, you have the right to pursue compensation for any injuries or damages sustained due to their negligence.
According to Missouri law, passengers can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, just as a driver would. Missouri follows a pure comparative fault system, which means that compensation for damages and injuries is allocated based on each party’s degree of fault in the accident.
This means that if both the driver of your car and a third-party driver are partially responsible, you can receive compensation from each party.
Who Pays for Your Damages After a Car Accident in Missouri?
In Missouri, the at-fault driver’s insurance company is generally responsible for paying for damages resulting from a car accident. Missouri law requires all drivers to carry a minimum level of liability insurance to cover damages they may cause to others while driving. The minimum requirements are:
- $25,000 to cover bodily injury for one person
- $50,000 to cover bodily injury for an accident
- $10,000 to cover property damage
As an injured passenger, you can file a compensation claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The insurance company will investigate the accident and determine liability for the damages.
If the driver of the vehicle you were in was at fault for the accident, their insurance company is responsible for covering your damages up to their policy limits. Likewise, if another driver is partially at fault, you can claim additional damages with their insurance company.
What if the Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
If the driver of the vehicle you were in does not have insurance, you may still be able to recover compensation for your damages through your own uninsured motorist coverage.
Missouri law requires drivers to have an uninsured motorist policy with a $25,000 minimum limit per person and $50,000 per accident for bodily injury. This coverage pays for damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
If you don’t carry this type of insurance, you may have to pay for your accident-related costs out-of-pocket.
What Type of Compensation Can You Receive for Your Injuries?
As an injured passenger in a car accident in Missouri, you may be entitled to recover damages for a variety of losses, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage.
Medical expenses include hospital bills, doctor’s visits, rehabilitation, and prescription medication. You may recover lost wages if your injuries prevent you from working or result in a reduced earning capacity.
Pain and suffering damages compensate you for the physical and emotional toll of the accident, including anxiety, depression, or PTSD after the crash. Property damage compensation can help cover the cost of replacing any personal property damaged in the accident, such as a phone or laptop.
Explore Your Legal Options With Cofman Townsley
If you’re an injured passenger in a car accident in Missouri, an experienced personal injury attorney from Cofman Townsley can help you understand your legal rights and pursue a fair settlement for your losses.
Our skilled auto accident lawyers can guide you through the claims process to minimize any impact the claim may have on your relationship with the driver. We can help you file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and negotiate maximum compensation. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.