Glendale Passenger Injury Attorneys
During a traffic collision, passengers are often the most at risk for serious injuries. Car manufacturers tend to design their safety features to protect drivers first and passengers second, which means passengers can easily suffer near fatal injuries. In addition, passengers have little to no control over an accident, which can make the event extremely anxiety-inducing and shocking.
If you were a passenger in a serious vehicle collision, the Glendale car accident lawyers at Aghabegian & Associates, PC are ready and willing to take on your case. We can evaluate every aspect of the accident, from the police report to driving records to insurance policies, in order to ensure not a single cent is left out of your claim and all at-fault parties are held accountable. We have more than two decades fighting for LA County residents under our belt and can pull all of our resources on our clients’ behalf.
Following an accident, passengers in California tend to have multiple insurance policies they can pull from to cover their injuries and financial losses.
- First, there is your own personal auto policy, which provides coverage when you are in other vehicles. In California, your auto insurance policy may include personal injury protection (PIP), or sometimes referred to as med-pay, which can cover your medical expenses.
- Second, there is the auto policy for the car you are in during the accident. In California, this vehicle should have the minimum coverage of up to $30,000 for multiple people. Even that policy’s limit is not enough to cover your damages, you may also be eligible for an underinsured motorist claim if you have such a policy with your own insurance company.
- Lastly, if there were other drivers involved in the accident, you could file a claim against their insurance policy, which may also have the California minimum liability limit. This is the most common route for passengers.
However, it is important to remember that your claim can only be with individuals who were at fault. If only one driver was at fault, you could only make a claim against their policy, but if both shared partial fault, then your claim could be against both of them. Determining fault will ultimately come down to several factors, such as whether or not drivers were reckless or negligent during the accident.
If you were involved in a single car accident, such as a collision with a traffic light, tree, or center divider, then your claim might be with the driver of your vehicle. However, this requires that you prove that they were negligent. What can constitute negligence?
Well, to be held negligent for a car accident, the driver must have committed some action or inaction that caused the collision and thus your injuries. This can include:
- Distracted driving, such as texting, making a call, adjusting the radio, or eating food
- Driving while intoxicated, either from alcohol or drugs, including prescription and over the counter medication
- Drowsy or fatigued driving, especially late at night or early in the morning
- Speeding or failing to stop at red lights/stop signs
Alternatively, these same conditions can be applied to other drivers. They are required to provide the same duty of care to you when they are on the road and if they violate that duty, they can be held liable for your injuries.
In some cases, the case may not even be against either driver. Some accidents occur due to mechanical failure or auto part defects, such as faulty brake systems, damaged tires, or sticky accelerators. In these scenarios, you may have a product liability claim against the manufacturer or, if a mechanic failed to repair the vehicle, a claim against the repair shop.
When there are multiple parties involved in an auto accident claim (for example, an accident with a rideshare driver), it can be difficult to determine who holds the majority of fault and what insurance policies apply. Some drivers specifically exclude certain passengers from receiving coverage in their auto insurance policies. Or you may already be a part of that policy, such as if the driver was a family member or intimate partner and should automatically receive coverage.
Many people stress about filing a claim against a friend’s insurance policy because they don’t want to sue a friend or get them in trouble, but we are here to put those fears at rest. When you file a claim for a car accident, you are filing the claim against an insurance policy and you should primarily deal with them. While you may be worried that their rates will go up because of your claim, that will likely already happen even if you do not file the claim. Holding back on pursuing damages will only hurt you.
When you visit our office to talk to one of our lawyers, our primary concern is getting you the compensation you deserve after an accident, whether that is from your own policy or another drivers. We know that passengers often lack proper representation after car accidents as the drivers prepare their own claims, which is why we believe in providing sound legal advice to passengers. If we take you on as a client at Aghabegian & Associates, PC, our Glendale car accident attorneys will relentlessly pursue compensation for your injuries and fight to hold insurance companies to their policies.
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Contact us today for a free consultation. We offer our services on a contingency fee basis-if we don’t recover compensation for you, you don’t pay.
Call (818) 507-4311 to learn more.