Wellborn Paluch, LLP Blog

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

What rights do Injured passengers have in NY?

Being involved in an automobile accident as a passenger can sometimes expose you to more severe injuries than if you were the driver.  As drivers may instinctually take action to avoid a direct collision with another vehicle, passengers are often placed in the point of the most direct impact.

As a passenger, it can sometimes be tricky to recover compensation for your injuries, especially if you feel conflicted about trying to recover from a friend or family member that may have been at fault. Consulting with your own auto accident lawyer is the best way to ensure that your rights are protected.

Finding Fault in Auto Accidents

One of the first things that an auto accident attorney will want to do is to determine who is at fault in the accident. Fault may lie in another driver, a government agency or even your own driver. Regardless of who is at fault for the accident though, a passenger is always entitled to compensation for their injuries.

What Kind of Compensation is Available to NY Passengers?

If you are passenger injured in an auto accident, you have the right to receive monetary compensation for damages arising from the accident. These damages can include:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost profits or wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages (in some cases)

Making a Passenger Claim

As a passenger in a two-car accident, it is wise to make claims to both drivers’ insurance companies, unless it is clear that only one driver was at fault, as is usually the case with rear-end accidents. Because New York is a no-fault state, a passenger may file a Personal Injury Protection (also known as a No Fault Claim) against the responsible driver. You must file a no-fault claim within 30 days of the accident.

What if My Friend or Family Member was at Fault?

Things can uncomfortable when the driver at fault is someone you have a close relationship with. No one wants to sue their best friend for negligence, but sometimes, especially if you are severely injured and face exorbitant medical bills, choosing not to sue may not be an option. In most cases, filing a lawsuit is not necessary, as most claims to insurance companies are settled outside of the courtroom.

If you or a loved one was injured as a passenger in a New York auto accident, having an independent personal injury attorney on your side is your best option. Contact the Buffalo, New York auto accident attorneys at Wellborn Paluch today at (toll free) 1-844-855-HURT or 716-254-2554 for a free consultation.


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