Injured Passengers

No matter which driver was at fault, an injured passenger should seek compensation for their harms and losses.

If you don’t file a claim, you’re giving the insurance company a gift – and likely not saving the driver any money.

Were You a Passenger Injured in a Car Accident? What You Should Know

As a passenger in a car, you’re just along for the ride. You have little control over the situation. So, when you’re injured in a wreck as the result of a driver’s irresponsible behavior, it can be a helpless feeling. Will you have to pay for the bills caused by someone else?

Generally speaking, innocent passengers in North Carolina and South Carolina are responsible for their bills upfront. However, passengers injured in car accidents are often owed significant compensation, generally at the end of their case, regardless of which driver was at fault. Ultimately, the compensation you may receive should pay for the medical and other bills caused by the at-fault driver that you had to pay upfront.

Passenger side airbag deployed in an empty carDon’t get stuck footing the bill unfairly or miss out on all the compensation you may be owed. Here’s how to determine who was at fault, what you should consider as you seek compensation, what the claims process looks like for injured passengers, and how an attorney can significantly increase your odds of success.

For a free professional opinion on your case with no obligation, call 1-866-900-7078 today.

How Do I Know if My Driver Was at Fault and Caused My Injury?

Your driver owes you a duty of care, meaning they are responsible for operating the vehicle safely and not endangering passengers (or anyone else). Did your driver cause the crash that injured you by:

  • speeding?
  • weaving through traffic?
  • driving distracted?
  • falling asleep at the wheel?
  • doing anything else a reasonable person wouldn’t have done?

If these behaviors caused the wreck and your injuries, you are likely owed compensation, and the driver of the vehicle likely has insurance policies that can cover your bills.

Tip: You may be entitled to compensation even if you had pre-existing injuries, but don’t count on the driver’s insurance company to tell you that.

As for the driver of the other vehicle, you may not know what negligent behavior they may have been taking that caused the crash. Unfortunately, the at-fault driver’s insurance company likely wants to pay you as little as possible, so they may try to use any uncertainty to claim their insured wasn’t at fault.

Make sure you call a police officer to create a report at the accident scene, then call an experienced auto accident attorney who can take on the insurance company for you.

What if I Don’t Want to Sue My Driver?

Filing a claim with someone’s insurance is different from going after someone personally. If an innocent passenger decides not to pursue a claim, they are just handing any money they may be entitled to back to the insurance company when that company is often worth hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars.

All drivers in North and South Carolina are required under state law to have auto insurance. When seeking compensation, you are not necessarily suing the driver or policyholder. Instead, you can generally make a claim on their insurance policy for coverage of your bills after a wreck, which is exactly what insurance is for.

We talk to many people who are understandably concerned about filing a claim against a driver that they know. Your health is the greatest priority. If you and your driver are close, they may very well want you to get compensation from the insurance policy they already paid for rather than you trying to pay your bills out of pocket.

Most claims resolve without a lawsuit. Even if litigation is recommended, it’s your choice. We never file a lawsuit without your consent.

In addition, the driver’s insurance may not be the only source of possible compensation available. If the driver of the car is not the owner, the owner’s insurance coverage could come into effect. You may also have coverage on your own policy that you’re already paying for that can help you cover your expenses.

As an injured passenger, you may be entitled to significant compensation

Before you decide anything, get a free professional opinion on your case. There is no cost and no obligation to see how much your case may really be worth. Call 1-866-900-7078 today!

But I Don’t Want to Cause My Driver’s Insurance Rates to Increase

Whether or not an innocent passenger decides to file an injury claim, it generally will not impact the driver’s (or vehicle owner’s) insurance. That is because there will likely already be a property damage claim and possibly other injury claims if others were hurt.

There is a maximum amount that insurance premiums can go up from a single car wreck. That maximum increase is generally triggered with only a few thousand dollars in property damage. So, if you’re an injured passenger and decide not to pursue a claim, the insurance rates will still likely go up for the at-fault driver…while you get stuck with medical bills.

How Do I Make a Claim as a Passenger Injured in a Car Accident?

To make a claim as an injured passenger, you must contact the at-fault driver’s insurance company. An insurance adjuster will be assigned to your case.

Many insurance companies may use formulas to determine how much they will offer an injured person, but some companies may skew those formulas to make low, unreasonable offers. The amount you may be entitled to is often subjective, so have an experienced attorney to negotiate on your behalf and try to ensure the insurance company does not take advantage of you.

The adjuster will fight back. The adjuster is protecting the insurance company’s interests, and most insurance companies want to pay out as little as possible on claims – the less they pay, the more profit they keep.

I’ve seen some insurance adjusters sometimes go far beyond the norm.

Our firm helped one client who was in the emergency room after a bad accident. A man showed up and implied he was a family member, so the hospital staff gave him access to the patient. But it was the insurance adjuster. He was trying to entice our client to sign the release before he left the emergency room.1,5

Can I Be at Fault as a Passenger in a Car Accident?

Yes. How that impacts your chances for potential compensation depends on whether you’re in North Carolina or South Carolina.

Let’s say you were watching something on your tablet that distracted your speeding driver, causing a crash. The main cause of the crash was speeding, but streaming a movie in the car was a secondary distraction that contributed to the crash. In North Carolina, if you are even 1% at fault for the accident, the insurance company may try to pay you no compensation at all.

In South Carolina, even if you’re partially at fault, you may be able to recover some compensation. If it were determined, for example, that your actions were 10% at fault for the crash, you may still be able to recover 90% of the damages you sustained.

Sound complicated? Get a free professional opinion on what your case may be worth before you contact the at-fault driver’s insurance company or agree to any settlement. There is no obligation.

Trust the Experienced Car Accident Lawyers at James Scott Farrin

Your needs and your concerns come first. Always.

We strive to get you as much as possible, as quickly as possible. Since 1997, we’ve recovered more than $1.8 billion In total for more than 65,000 people.1

Several of our attorneys used to work for insurance defense firms and we use that inside knowledge to fight for maximum compensation on your behalf. See some of our results for clients here!

We can meet you at one of our many offices or we can handle things remotely. We can even come to you, anywhere across North and South Carolina!

Plus, there’s no need to worry about the cost of high-quality legal representation. You pay nothing upfront, no hourly fee – and no attorney’s fee at all unless we get compensation for you. Guaranteed.2

Don’t hesitate. For a free professional opinion on your case with no obligation, call us at 1-866-900-7078 or contact us online today.



5 Case or matter referenced does not represent the law firm’s entire record. This is a specific example of an experience we had at our firm with an insurance company adjuster. The story does not necessarily represent any industry as a whole. Descriptions of events are based upon the recollections of individual staff members. Client identities have been removed or changed to protect their privacy.