Who Is Responsible For Passengers Injured In A Motor Vehicle Accident?

May 16, 2013

Not all personal injuries in Buffalo automobile accidents occur to the drivers.  When a passenger is hurt and needs to pursue compensation for his or her injuries, which driver is responsible for damages is based on the specific facts of that case.

Generally, an injured passenger may proceed with a personal injury claim against any driver who caused or contributed to the accident, even the driver of the vehicle they are in.  In some cases, such as where a moving motor vehicle strikes the rear of a stopped vehicle, it may be easy to determine which driver was responsible.  In other cases, both drivers may have taken actions that led to the collision and, as a result, they both have some responsibility for causing the passenger’s injuries.

In our experience as Buffalo personal injury lawyers, we find that some passengers are reluctant to make a claim for personal injury against the driver of the motor vehicle they were riding in – who is often a friend of family member – even when that driver clearly caused the accident.  While this reluctance is understandable, any damages awarded are – in most cases – paid by the driver’s automobile insurance.  They are rarely paid directly by the driver.  This is why New York State requires drivers to have automobile insurance.

Determining whether a passenger should proceed against one or both drivers may require an experienced personal injury attorney who understands this area of law.  If you have been involved in an auto accident and have any questions regarding this topic, please feel free to call our office at 716-400-0000.  We would be happy to help you.