When you allow a passenger to ride with you in a car, you are essentially taking responsibility for their well-being.  Another way to think about the same situation would be every time you ride as a passenger you are putting your life into some one else’s hands.  Really, the only thing the passenger can do to safeguard themselves is to use a seat belt and not distract the driver.  But, sometimes even that is not enough to protect yourself if the at-fault driver is irresponsible.

I have seen a number of accidents recently where passengers have been severely injured or even lost their life.  Just recently a woman was charged after a fatal accident in Richmond, Virginia (VA).  She lost control of her car near Interstate-95 and her car careened off the road and hit several trees.  She suffered serious injuries in the accident but is expected to recover, reports NBC channel 12

Unfortunately her passenger wasn’t so lucky.  46-year-old Leslie Jones died at the scene.  My condolences go out to the family of Ms. Jones.  It is a terrible thing to lose a loved one in such a preventable accident.

The at-fault driver is charged with involuntary manslaughter and driving with a revoked license.  She should have never been behind the wheel of a car with a revoked license and because of her decision to drive, someone has lost their life.

Many people don’t know that when a loved one riding in a vehicle is killed due to the negligence and/or irresponsibility of the driver, the family of the loved one could have grounds for a wrongful death claim. Families sometimes decide not to file a claim.  This is a mistake because the focus of the claim is to recover against the negligent driver’s insurance policy, and that is why we all have liability insurance.