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What Are My Legal Options if I Was a Passenger in a Car Accident?

Posted on March 3, 2022 in

If you have been involved in a vehicle accident as a passenger, and if you have sustained any injuries, you should be able to recover compensation for your losses. However, we know that passengers are often confused after a vehicle accident, particularly when it comes to determining who they file their claim with. Here, we want to discuss your legal options if you were a passenger in a Colorado vehicle accident.

Liability Rarely Falls to the Passenger

Determining liability after a vehicle accident in Colorado can be challenging, but the good news is that passengers are rarely ever found to be at fault for causing an incident. When a vehicle accident happens, liability has to be determined anyway, so this is nothing special for a passenger injury situation. This is just the due course for a vehicle accident.

As an injured passenger, the claim may become a little more complex because it involves multiple drivers’ insurance carriers. In the state of Colorado, every driver is required to carry and maintain certain types of insurance to legally operate a vehicle. The insurance requirements in this state are:

  • Bodily injury: $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident
  • Property damage: $15,000 per accident

An investigation will be conducted between the drivers’ insurance carriers to determine fault, and the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier will be responsible for compensating you as an injured passenger. If there was shared fault, then both insurance carriers may be responsible for paying compensation for your injuries.

Contact a Lawyer for Help With the Claim

If you have been injured as a passenger in a vehicle accident in Colorado, we strongly encourage you to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. These claims can become challenging, especially if there is a dispute between other drivers about who caused the incident. When a passenger works with an attorney, this ensures that they have an advocate by their side. This will be someone who helps the passenger recover compensation for their medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering losses.

One reason we strongly recommend a Denver car accident attorney in these situations is that these claims often involve family members or friends that the passenger was with, and passengers may be reluctant to file a claim or lawsuit against these individuals. Having an attorney will take the emotional attachment aspect out of the situation.

In the event fault is disputed, or if one or both insurance carriers refuse to offer a settlement for your injuries, it may be necessary for you and your attorney to file a personal injury lawsuit against another party involved. This may include one driver and insurance carrier specifically or both drivers and both insurance carriers.

If the at-fault driver involved does not have insurance, you may still have options aside from filing a lawsuit against that driver. The person whose vehicle you were in may have uninsured motorist coverage to help with this situation, or you may be able to turn to your own auto insurance carrier (if you have insurance) and recover uninsured motorist coverage, if this is the type of coverage that you have.