Most car crash cases focus on the drivers of the vehicles. However, passengers often suffer serious injuries in motor vehicle accidents.
If you suffer an injury as a passenger in a motor vehicle, can you sue the driver?
Who is liable for car accident injuries?
In North Carolina, any person who contributes to the cause of an auto accident cannot recover damages from the other party. However, in most cases, passengers do not share liability. This means that an injured passenger may be able to sue either or both drivers, depending on their share of the fault.
For example, if the driver of the car you were in was 20% at fault and the other driver was 80% at fault, you could sue one driver for 20% of your damages and the other for 80%.
Who pays for a passenger’s injuries?
If you or the driver of the car you were in has medical payments coverage, that coverage may pay for your medical expenses up to the limit of the coverage. To obtain compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages and other damages, you may need to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s liability insurance or sue the at-fault party directly. However, if a family member was driving the car, the insurance policy may exclude household members from liability coverage.
While the idea of suing a friend or family member due to a car accident may not be appealing, it may be the best way to recover your damages, particularly if the at-fault party has insurance.