If you are a passenger in an Indiana car accident, you have a right to file a claim against the at-fault driver. The at-fault driver could be the driver of the vehicle you were in or that of another vehicle involved in the accident. Passengers rarely have to worry about proving liability, but determining what they can seek compensation for can be confusing. If you were injured as a passenger in a car accident, you have a number of legal options that you can pursue.
Who Can A Passenger Sue For Damages?
The at-fault driver of the car accident is typically responsible for damages of all injured parties. The at-fault driver’s insurance company will put up a battle which can become frustrating and complicated. Insurance companies protect their bottom lines and will use facts to try to deflect liability. The insurance companies of all drivers will put the blame on each other to try not to pay out settlements. An experienced car accident attorney in Indianapolis can sort all the details and determine who should be responsible for the damages you may be entitled to.
How Much Of A Settlement Can I Get As A Passenger?
The size of the settlement depends on several factors including details of the accident, severity of injuries, amount of lost wages, and the insurance policies in place to provide the compensation. An experienced personal injury attorney will identify the liable parties after an accident and file the appropriate lawsuits. While no settlement is guaranteed, a qualified, experienced attorney can make a big difference in the outcome of your case.
When You Cannot File A Lawsuit
Under Indiana Code 34-30-11, you cannot file a claim for damages against a driver who is your parent, spouse, child/stepchild, brother, or sister. You also cannot file a claim if a driver picked you up as a hitchhiker and the driver did not receive payment for transporting you. One exception to this statute is if the at-fault driver displayed wanton or willful misconduct. This statute is commonly referred to as the Guest Statute.
As a passenger, you must also understand that you may be found at fault if the following occurred:
- You contributed to the accident by causing the driver to become distracted
- You failed to use your safety belt
- You were aware that the driver was impaired or of other unsafe conditions
- You did not seek immediate medical attention
If you are found to be partially at fault, your damages will be reduced by the percentage that you were responsible for. If you are found to be more than 51% responsible, you will not be able to obtain any damages suffered.
Contact An Experienced Attorney
Batesky Law Office has been helping Hoosiers recover damages after car accidents for nearly 30 years. If you were a passenger in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, you should speak with an experienced attorney to understand all the options that you have. Contact us for a complimentary case evaluation today!