It’s common knowledge that car accidents cause serious injuries. Sitting in the passenger’s seat in a vehicle can be just as dangerous as sitting behind the wheel. If you suffered an injury as a passenger in an auto accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The attorneys at Bowles & Verna represent car accident victims in personal injury cases. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and suffer an injury as a passenger in an auto accident, we may be able to help you seek compensation.
An Overview of Passenger Car Accident Lawsuits in California
In California, passenger car accident claims differ from other types of auto accident claims. That is because passengers typically do not own the vehicle that is involved in the accident and therefore are not subject to the same standards as the person driving.
Under California law, a passenger is responsible for his or her own safety to a certain extent. For example, common sense measures such as wearing a seatbelt and refraining from entering the car if the driver is intoxicated are expected of passengers.
However, the passenger is not responsible for the driver’s carelessness on the road. If the driver disobeys the law or fails to exercise caution, it is the driver’s responsibility.
Determining Who Is Liable in a Passenger Car Accident Lawsuit
If you suffer an injury as a passenger in an auto accident, the central question is who is responsible? In California, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will be responsible for compensating you, the accident victim.
You can file a lawsuit against either:
- The driver or the person who owns the vehicle you were in at the time of the accident
- The driver or the person who owns the other vehicle involved in the accident
Regardless of who is at fault, you have the right to file a claim against that person’s insurance company.
Why You Need a Personal Injury Attorney
Without legal guidance, an injury victim might settle for less compensation than his or her claim is really worth. Further, by agreeing to a settlement, he or she might sign away his or her right to further legal action.
That is why it is important that you consult with a car accident attorney immediately after an accident. Most often, personal injury cases involving auto accidents in California are settled privately out of court. However, if the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, our team of car accident attorneys are not afraid to go to trial.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
For additional information about your legal options following a passenger car accident, contact Bowles & Verna. Schedule a consultation online or call us at (925) 935-3300 today.