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Injured Passenger in Car Accident: Know Your Rights

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I Was a Passenger in a Car Accident


The World Health Organization (WHO) report suggests that in 2023, approximately 1.19 million people suffered in traffic accidents globally. Statistics have shown that when it comes to vehicle accidents, after truck accidents, car accidents are the most consequential. Understanding your rights and liabilities is crucial if you have been involved in such an accident. It can help you to avoid legal mishaps and get the compensation you deserve. Explore crucial steps and legal rights for those involved as a passenger in a car accident. Understand fault determination, insurance dealings, and recovery options with our expert injury lawyers at Royce Injury!

Understanding Passenger Injuries in Car Accidents

Collision force and speed, external weather factors, and safety equipment used by passengers are some crucial factors in such accidents. The type of crash/collision determines the type of injuries sustained by the passengers, i.e. major injuries like traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal cord injury, bone fractures, etc, as well as minor injuries such as whiplash, muscle strain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), etc. Understanding these factors is important to know what to do if you are a car accident passenger.  

Steps for Injured Passengers Post-Accident

For an injured passenger, it is important to follow all crucial steps in the post-accident period. 

  1. Maintain steady recovery: Focus on steady recovery after the accident and follow-ups recommended by your doctor. Keep track of your medical bills, receipt of treatment, doctor fees, etc. 
  2. Gather and save the evidence in the form of documentation: The documentation is very important for insurance claims or filing an injury lawsuit. As an injured passenger, you should keep track of police reports of the accident, photos/CCTV footage, statements of the eyewitnesses (if any), diagnosis reports, etc.  
  3. Consult an Injury Attorney: Take legal advice from an expert passenger car accident lawyer to determine the best course of action for your injury case. The lawyer will advise whether your case merits an insurance claim or an injury lawsuit. 

Legal Rights of Injured Passengers

Passengers who are injured in car accidents have certain legal rights to claim compensation from the at-fault parties. Depending on the type of collision, severity of injuries, and the number of parties involved in the accident, the injured passenger (s) can avail of different types of legal remedies available to them.   

Recovery for Injured Passengers

Injured passengers are entitled to claim certain types of damages while recovering from the accident. These damages include both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include loss of wages, medical expenses such as treatment bills, medicine charges, doctor’s fees, and other miscellaneous expenses, losses due to a reduction in earning capacity, and psychological treatment expenses. You can also claim punitive damages against the at-fault party if the accident was caused due to their gross violation of traffic laws. 

Fault Determination in Accidents

If you are a passenger in a car accident, determining the fault in passenger accidents is the critical first step that will help you understand who you will need to sue for damages. In some accidents, the at-fault party is the opposite car driver. However, in some cases, the accident resulted due to the contributory negligence of both parties. In both scenarios, you can claim compensation against the responsible parties. This also applies to third parties such as government agencies for poorly maintained roads or vehicle manufacturers if an accident happened due to mechanical error in the car.  

Passenger Liability in Car Accidents

There are instances in which passengers can also be held liable for an accident. Such instances may include distracting the driver, encouraging reckless driving, and failing to comply with the precautionary measures. For example, if the passenger was not wearing a seat belt when the accident happened, it may be categorized as contributory negligence because the passenger failed to take preventive measures for their safety. In such scenarios, the passengers are awarded compensation after a deduction is made to the extent of their contributory negligence to the accident. 

Dealing with Insurance After a Car Accident

Negotiating with the insurance companies in post-accident can be challenging if you don’t have an expert injury attorney to represent you. Not only does the injury lawyer help you negotiate favorable terms with the insurance company of the at-fault party, but also provides you with legal assistance and representation in the injury court should negotiations with the insurance company fail. Insurance companies tend to reduce your compensation claim by redirecting the blame on you. To avoid such situations, it is always advisable to have an injury attorney by your side when you settle with the insurance company. 

Legal Actions for Injured Passengers

As an injured passenger, you can pursue legal action against the at-fault parties by claiming damages to their insurance companies. In some cases, the severity and implications of injuries are so paramount that the insurance coverage of the defendant(s) is inadequate to cover them. In such scenarios, the passenger(s) can file an injury lawsuit to pursue the damages. You can be a self-litigant or pursue the case through an injury attorney who is often quite well-versed in such lawsuits.  

Statute of Limitations 

The statute of limitation for passenger injury due to negligence cases in Kansas City is two years. It means that you are time-bound to bring your damages claims against the at-fault party within two years or 104 weeks from the accident. If you fail to bring the claim within the stipulated time period, you will lose your legal right to file the claim later. However, out-of-time exceptions can be granted by the court if you succeed in showing a genuine cause.


Determining liability in passenger accidents is a tricky thing. Many passengers are not even aware of their legal rights at the onset of an accident. If you are a passenger in an accident, having a passenger injury attorney is crucial to navigate the legal challenges faced in post-accident time. Our experienced lawyers at Royce Injury are here to help you navigate these challenges on the road to winning the compensation you deserve. 

Jason Royce Allen

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