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How Do Passengers Recover Damages in a Virginia Car Accident?

Any occupant in the vehicle has the risk of being injured should there be a car accident. One question that often comes up in these situations is what are an injured passenger’s legal options for pursuing damages under Virginia law? The answer to that question depends on the circumstances of the crash. The following are three of the most common scenarios we see here at our Virginia personal injury law firm. For more detailed information about your particular situation, call our office to schedule a free case evaluation.

There Was Only One Vehicle Involved in the Crash

When a passenger is injured in a crash and there was only one vehicle involved in the accident, the driver of the vehicle is usually liable for the passenger’s damages that result from their injuries. The problem with this scenario is that the driver is usually a family member or friend of the victim and the victim is hesitant to file a claim against them because they worry that filing a claim could damage their relationship or hurt them financially.

However, it is important for victims in these situations to remember that the car accident claim is going to be filed with the driver’s insurance company. Any financial compensation paid to the victim will come directly from the insurance company and not their loved one or friend who was driving the vehicle.

There Were Two Cars Involved in the Crash and the Other Driver Was at Fault

In this scenario, the passenger should file their car accident claim against the other driver. However, if the at-fault driver’s insurance policy does not have enough coverage to cover all of the passenger/victim’s damages, their car accident attorney may also file an additional claim with the insurance company of the driver of the vehicle the passenger was in when the accident occurred if that policy has an underinsured provision.

There Were Multiple Vehicles Involved in the Crash

The victim’s car accident attorney will need to examine all of the evidence and determine which driver or drivers is liable for the victim’s losses. In some accidents, the answer to that question may be obvious, however, in multi-car crashes, it is often the case that there is more than one driver who is liable. There may also be an issue of comparative negligence of the driver of the vehicle the passenger was in at the time of the accident. There could also be a question of the at-fault driver not having enough liability insurance to cover the victim’s damages and having to file on an underinsured provision of a driver’s insurance policy.

Due to the complexity of multi-vehicle crashes, it is always recommended that victims seek out the assistance of a seasoned Virginia car accident attorney.

Contact a Virginia Injury Lawyer

Car crash victims often suffer from injuries that require a long-term recovery process. This often involves high medical expenses, as well as lost wages from work, and pain and suffering. And it is not uncommon for victims to suffer life-long damage from these injuries.

Insurance companies will often try to pressure car crash victims to settle their claims quickly and for much less than what the victim deserves. That is why it is critical to contact a skilled Virginia car accident attorney immediately following a collision for advice and direction. Call our office today to schedule a free and confidential consultation. For more information, download our free guide to car crash injuries in Virginia.

 

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Eric K. Washburn
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia