Injuries to Passengers
Guest passengers who suffer personal injury as a result of a motor vehicle accident have strong legal rights to compensation from all at-fault drivers. Unless the passenger distracts the driver or puts endangers themselves by accepting a ride with an impaired driver, they have a clear right to collect payment for all injuries and losses. However, insurance companies always try to minimize victims’ claims. If you are riding with the at-fault driver, the good news is that your efforts pushing the insurance company to pay you a generous personal injury settlement will not cause any harm to your driver’s insurance coverage, or any increase in their car insurance rates. Raleigh car accident lawyer Carl Nagle brings decades of experience to his representation of car, truck and motorcycle accident victims. Mr. Nagle understands how to maximize the value of these claims, and he is able to anticipate potential defenses mounted by insurance companies because he formerly worked as an insurance defense attorney and an insurance claims adjuster. Through dedicated, personal attention, the team at Nagle & Associates has successfully helped victims throughout the state, including in Winston-Salem, Asheville, and Wilmington. We only handle roadway collision cases, and we have collected over $290 million dollars for the benefit of our clients throughout North Carolina.Seek Compensation for Injuries as a Passenger
The period following a car accident may be overwhelming and emotionally challenging for victims and their families. As a passenger in a car involved in a crash, there may be different avenues to recover monetary compensation. First, as in all personal injury claims, liability must be proven. In most two-car accidents, at least one driver is liable. One-car accident liability depends on the circumstances, but typically the driver will be found legally responsible, although in some cases a manufacturer of a car or car part also may be sued under a product liability theory. Further, in cases where there is no driver error, guest passengers have no right of compensation. For example, several NC court decisions have found that a driver who was not speeding and who paid proper attention has no liability for passengers’ claims when they swerve to avoid animals who suddenly enter the roadway.
One critical nuance must be considered by passengers in the at-fault vehicle. Insurance companies know that collision victims have no automatic payment rights, and that legally the really only have a right to sue to prove and establish their right to personal injury payments. Insurance companies also know that passengers are often family members or friends of the at-fault driver, and thus would prefer not to sue. Please understand that most cases settle, even when attorneys are involved. Further, aggressive pursuit of your payment rights will not harm your driver financially or even increase their insurance rates. Thus, do not allow the insurance adjuster to play on your sympathy and thereby pay less than they truly owe under NC negligent driving laws.
Seeking compensation as a passenger usually involves making a claim against a driver’s liability insurance policy. In certain situations, it may be important for an injured passenger to pursue multiple claims in order to recover compensation for all of their losses. For example, if two or more drivers contributed to causing the accident, the passenger can collect from multiple liability insurance policies. Further, the injured passenger may be able to look to Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage in their own household to increase the payments they receive. Using these UIM policies will not increase the victim’s or the victim’s family’s car insurance rates. Once all available insurance coverage is located, it is important to prove the full extent of all of the injuries that resulted from the accident. With the assistance of a motor vehicle collision attorney, injured passengers may be able to demonstrate the true impact of a collision through evidence set forth by medical and vocational experts. The opposing insurance company may be required to pay for the victim’s past and future medical treatment, lost income and future lost earning capacity, and any home modifications or other expenses required to account for a permanent injury or disability.Discuss Your Car Accident Claim with a Raleigh Lawyer
The impact of a motor vehicle collision may be devastating, with lifelong consequences for the victim and their family. At Nagle & Associates, Raleigh car accident attorney Carl Nagle represents injured North Carolina residents with the goal of leaving them in strong financial position. The legal fees at our firm are lower than at many other personal injury law firms, and you pay nothing up front to put our team to work immediately. We receive fees only if and when we recover money on your behalf. Many North Carolina residents seeking a motor vehicle collision attorney have been helped by our firm, including people in Winston-Salem, Raleigh, Asheville, Greensboro, Wilmington, Hickory, and Charlotte as well as other communities throughout Forsyth, Wake, Durham, Mecklenburg, Cumberland, Guilford, Brunswick, and Catawba Counties. Our offices can be reached by calling (800) 411-1583 or using our online form to set up a free consultation.