What Happened

The backseat passenger of a car in that was involved in a serious wreck is being charged with driving under the influence. Yes, you read that correctly – a passenger is being charged with driving under the influence. How is this even possible? Well, the passenger reportedly grabbed the steering wheel from the driver and caused the vehicle to veer off Virginia 24 in Bedford County and crash, according to the Washington Post.  

Four people were in the vehicle at the time and injuries resulted. In fact, the other people in the car had to  be hospitalized. 

The Virginia Injury Lawyers’ Perspective

This is definitely a rare story. In most instances, the driver is charged with a DUI. However, there is some precedent in the Commonwealth. In fact, about a decade ago, the Court of Appeals of Virginia upheld a guilty verdict of a passenger who grabbed the wheel of a car while he was intoxicated, according to the aforementioned Washington Post article.

Despite the unique nature of this accident, the injured victims may still have grounds to pursue a legal claim against the apparently at-fault passenger.

Potentially Helpful Legal Articles and/or In-Depth Legal Guides

A challenge that could be presented to bringing a claim against a passenger, as opposed to the driver, is the issue of insurance coverage. Does the at-fault passenger’s insurance policy apply? What about the driver’s policy? These are important questions and our firm has published an in-depth legal guide entitled, “What To Do if Hurt in Accident by Uninsured or Uninsured Driver” which addresses these types of issues (though, to be candid, we didn’t write about the insurance policy of an at-fault passenger). Take a moment to download the guide here.

Have Questions? Visit our FAQ Page

Take a moment to look over our library of FAQs focused on issues related to car accident injury claims.


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