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Can You Sue a Driver After an Accident if You Were Their Passenger?

If you were a passenger in a car that was involved in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. This is true even if the person at fault in the accident was the driver of the car you were in.

Many passengers are injured in car accidents every year in Texas. The Texas Department of Transportation reports that, in 2021, more than 750 people were injured while they were passengers in automobiles.

Who you can recover damages from and how much depends upon who was at fault in the accident and to what degree. Automobile injury cases in Texas are determined by comparative fault. A percentage of the blame is placed on each driver at fault, and the amount you can recover from each driver is limited by that percentage. Insurance companies for each driver often seek to shift blame to others in order to reduce exposure to payouts. This is why it’s essential to make claims against all potentially liable parties.

As an injured passenger, you can take the following paths to pursue compensation:

  • Making a claim against your driver’s insurance policy — You can file an insurance claim against the insurance policy of the driver of the car you were in.
  • Suing your driver personally — You may be able to recover damages in excess of your driver’s automobile insurance coverage.
  • Making a claim against the other driver’s insurance policy — If there was another driver involved in the accident and they were even partially at fault, you can make a claim against that driver’s insurance policy.
  • Suing the other driver personally — The other driver could be held personally liable if available insurance coverages are not sufficient to make you whole.
  • Making a claim under your own insurance policy — If the driver(s) had insufficient automobile insurance to fully compensate for your injuries, you may be able to receive a payout from your own automobile insurance policy.

Most people injured in car accidents can claim several categories of damages. First, they may recover an amount of money intended to compensate them for their pain and suffering. Second, they may make a claim for out-of-pocket expenses resulting from the accident, like medical bills. Third, injured parties may recover an amount equal to their lost wages or income they would have earned had they not been injured in the accident.

It is important to contact an experienced automobile accident attorney soon after you are involved in a car accident. Texas has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. That may seem like a long time, but auto accident cases can be complicated and require time for analysis.

Leland Reinhard Law Firm represents parties injured in car accidents throughout Texas. To schedule a free consultation with me, remotely or at my office in in Cleburne, call 817-645-5400 or contact the firm online.