Can I Sue if I Was a Passenger in an Accident?

  • You may be able to sue the driver and other at-fault parties if you were seriously injured as a passenger in a car accident.
  • In New York, you must normally file a no-fault insurance claim with the driver’s no-fault insurance first, regardless of who was at fault.
  • Our experienced care accident lawyers are ready to fight for you.

Can a Passenger Sue a Driver After an Accident?

As a leading personal injury law firm in New York, one of the most common questions we get from our clients is, “What happens if you are a passenger in a car accident? ”You have a right to pursue damages when you have been seriously injured or suffered extensive economic losses as a passenger in a car accident in New York.

However, you must normally file a no-fault insurance claim before filing a fault-based liability claim against the responsible driver and their insurers. You can only file an auto-liability claim against the responsible parties if your injuries are deemed “serious” or your basic economic losses are greater than $50,000. New York law defines serious injuries as the following:

  • Fatal injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Loss of a limb
  • Disfigurement
  • Miscarriage
  • Severe and permanent organ damage
  • Loss of use of any bodily member or system
  • Injuries resulting in significant permanent impairments
  • Injuries that prevent you from engaging in normal activities for at least 90 of the 180 days following the accident

If your injuries are severe and the insurance companies fail to cover all of your damages, you can sue the responsible parties to recover the full compensation you are entitled to under the law.

“Passengers in the accident can sue because they’re actually in the best position to be victorious, and so of course, yes, they can sue.” – Sameer Chopra, Founding Partner

Who Can Be Sued for Passenger Injuries in an Accident?

As a severely injured passenger in a car accident, you generally have a right to sue anyone who caused or contributed to the accident and their insurance company. In many cases, multiple parties are liable. Among others, you may be able to sue one or more of the following parties:

  • The driver of the car you were riding in
  • The driver of another vehicle
  • The owner of any vehicle involved
  • A trucking company
  • A government entity
  • The manufacturer of a defective vehicle or vehicle component

Our Notable Case Results for Passengers at Chopra & Nocerino Law Firm

Our New York car accident lawyers are true advocates with over 20 years of combined experience. We fight for our clients and refuse to back down until we win the compensation they deserve. We have recovered hundreds of millions in verdicts and settlements for our clients, including:

  • $2.25 million for a 33-year-old passenger of a vehicle that was struck by a truck, resulting in the client needing back surgery.
  • $1.250 million for a 23-year-old taxi passenger whose injuries required shoulder and spine surgeries.
  • $1.05 million for a 47-year-old passenger who was injured when the vehicle she was in struck a stationary container in Brooklyn.

What Are Your Rights as a Passenger in an Accident?

When you are injured as a passenger in someone else’s vehicle, you have the right to:

  • Pursue compensation through the driver’s no-fault insurance.
  • File auto liability insurance claims against the responsible parties and their insurers if your injuries are severe or your basic economic losses exceed $50,000. 
  • File a personal injury lawsuit if you cannot recover the compensation you deserve through insurance claims.

No-Fault Insurance Claims

When you are injured as a passenger in someone else’s car, the driver’s no-fault insurance should cover your economic damages, regardless of whether the driver was at fault for the accident. Economic damages compensate for your monetary losses, such as medical bills and lost wages. No-fault insurance covers some of these costs up to the policy limits. New York drivers must carry at least $50,000 in no-fault insurance coverage.

Bodily Injury Liability Claims

If the driver’s no-fault insurance is insufficient to cover all of your damages, you may be able to file a claim against their liability policy, other negligent drivers, and anyone else who contributed to the crash. The minimum liability coverage in New York breaks down as follows:

  • $10,000 for property damage per accident
  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person involved in an accident ($50,000 if they are killed)
  • $50,000 for bodily injury for two or more people in an accident ($100,000 if they are killed)

You may be able to recover economic and non-economic damages through liability insurance policies. Economic damages cover tangible losses that easily reduce to a monetary value. Non-economic damages compensate for intangible losses, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Personal Injury Lawsuit

If the insurance companies refuse to compensate you fairly, you have a right to sue for the full and fair value of your economic and non-economic damages. If the conduct that led to your injuries was deliberate, particularly irresponsible, or otherwise reprehensible, you may also be able to pursue punitive damages.

Count on Chopra & Nocerino to Assist You in Protecting Your Rights

If you or your loved one has been injured as a passenger in a car accident, our compassionate and skilled New York personal injury lawyers are ready to handle your legal claim and fight for your rights. We are a law firm unlike any other out there. Insurance companies don’t play fair, but we power through their nonsense to defend your right to full and fair compensation.

As real New Yorkers dedicated to helping fellow New Yorkers, we treat our clients like family. We charge no upfront fees, and you only pay us if we secure compensation on your behalf. 

Contact us online or call (855) NYC-HURT to schedule your free consultation. We are here to answer your questions. Para servir mejor a todos los miembros de nuestra comunidad, ofrecemos servicios en español.

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