Can I Seek Compensation If I Was a Passenger in a Car Accident?
Posted in Lawsuit on November 12, 2022
Car accidents can happen in any place and at any time, even when you were not behind the wheel. These collisions can cause serious injuries and losses, harming your finances as well as your physical and emotional well-being. If you were a passenger in a car accident, you may wonder if you have the same right to pursue compensation as drivers.
Missouri is a fault car accident state, meaning that negligent drivers are financially liable for the damages of all victims in a collision—including passengers. If you were injured while riding in someone else’s car, you have the right to pursue compensation through an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Missouri’s Car Insurance Laws
To understand your legal options as an injured passenger, it is first important to know about Missouri’s car insurance laws. Like most states, Missouri follows a fault-based system for car accidents. Under this system, drivers who cause accidents must pay for the other party’s damages, which may include medical care, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Drivers usually carry liability insurance to pay for these damages. The minimum amounts of liability coverage in Missouri are as follows:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $25,000 per accident for property damage
Any person who is injured in a car accident has the right to hold an at-fault driver accountable for his or her actions. These parties include drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and passengers.
Your Rights as an Injured Passenger in a Car Accident
As a passenger injured in a car accident, you have the right to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s liability insurance. You may also file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver in Missouri civil court. In some cases, you may be eligible to pursue a claim against both drivers involved in the collision.
If someone else’s actions caused your accident, you could pursue a claim against the negligent entity. For example, if a defective part in the vehicle caused your accident, you could file a lawsuit against the product manufacturer. If a road defect led to the accident, you could pursue a claim against the government entity responsible for maintaining the road.
Knowing what to do after a car accident can be challenging, but a lawyer can help you determine which legal pathway is right for your case. An attorney can assess your case and identify your optimal options for compensation.
What Compensation Can Passengers Recover After a Car Accident?
Passengers in car accidents have the right to claim the same types of compensation as other victims. In your insurance claim or lawsuit, you could recover the following damages:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages and benefits
- Loss of future earnings
- Damage to personal property
- Mental anguish
- Chronic pain
- Permanent disability
- Emotional distress
- Depression and anxiety
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Loss of quality of life
Speak to a Kansas City Car Accident Attorney
If you were injured while riding in someone else’s vehicle, you need an attorney who can help you secure the compensation that you deserve. As soon as possible after your collision, contact a Kansas City car accident lawyer to discuss your case and take your first steps to recovery.