How Can a Passenger Recover After a Car Accident?

passenger buckling seatbelt

As a passenger in a car accident, you may feel uncomfortable with asking a driver to pay for your damages, even if you believe them to be at fault for the event. This is understandable because they may be a close family member or friend, and you may know just how much damage they incurred from the event themselves. However, you may be relieved to know that you do not necessarily have to seek a payout from a driver, but rather from their car insurance provider. Follow along to find out how a passenger can recover damages and how one of the proficient Howard County car accident attorneys at Lloyd J. Eisenberg & Associates can help with this.

How can a passenger recover damages after a car accident?

To reiterate, as a passenger, your first attempt at seeking recovery from your incurred damages after a car accident may be through a car insurance claim. Namely, you may turn to your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. This is a type of no-fault insurance that offers coverage for medical bills, lost wages, and any other immediate expenses regardless of who was at fault for the event. It is worth mentioning that a driver’s PIP insurance policy extends its coverage to any passengers present in the vehicle at the time of the accident.

However, in the state of Maryland, PIP is an optional insurance policy that you may have waived. So if neither you nor the driver have PIP benefits, then you may consider recovering damages through the following alternatives:

  • The PIP insurance policy of a resident relative.
  • The car insurance policy of the at-fault driver.
  • The uninsured motorist insurance of a resident relative.
  • The uninsured motorist insurance of the driver of the car you were in.

How can contributory negligence law affect my chances of recovery?

You must understand that the state of Maryland still follows contributory negligence law. This law holds that if your actions or behavior contributed to your car accident in any way, then you may be barred from your chances of financial compensation.

As a passenger, you may be considered a contributory factor in an accident if you distracted the driver in any way. This may be if a driver argues that you pressured them into reckless driving tactics (i.e., speeding or racing) or purposely inhibited their safe operation of the car (i.e., touching the steering wheel or blocking their field of vision). Though rare, if this argument is made, the car insurance provider may deny your recovery.

This is why, at the end of the day, your claim requires one of the talented Howard County auto accident attorneys in your corner. So please get in touch with us at Lloyd J. Eisenberg & Associates.

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