What Are My Rights as a Passenger in a Car Accident in Texas

how much money can a passenger in a car accident get

Car accidents can be devastating for several people, not just the driver or drivers involved in the accident. The car’s passengers can also suffer from severe injuries simply because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. But can an injured passenger file a personal injury claim against the person who caused the accident?

If you or an immediate family member has been injured as a passenger in a car accident, you may be able to seek compensation from the at-fault party who caused the accident. The San Antonio car accident attorneys at Janicek Law can help you file a claim to receive fair compensation for your losses. 

Call us at 210-366-4949 to speak with an experienced San Antonio car accident lawyer on our team at no initial cost.

Determining Fault in a Texas Car Accident

What are my Rights as a Passenger in a Car Accident in Texas

Before injured passengers or drivers can recover compensation for things like medical expenses and lost wages, the fault of the car crash must be determined. In a personal injury claim, the car accident victims must prove that someone involved in the auto accident acted negligently. 

To prove negligence, injury victims and their attorneys have to verify that the four elements of negligence were present:

  • Duty of care – a responsibility to act cautiously when around others.
  • Breach of duty of care – a breach of that responsibility.
  • Causation – the link between the breach of duty and the victim’s injuries.
  • Damages – what the victim lost as a result of the accident.

For example, if the driver of a car involved in an auto accident were texting while driving, the driver involved would have breached their duty of care to the other driver. If the accident occurs as a direct result of their driving distracted, they could cause injuries, and car accident victims could suffer from damages such as medical bills or permanent disability.

It can be easier to determine fault in certain accidents than in others, especially in hit-and-runs or faulty evasive action. Regardless of the situation, speaking to an experienced lawyer is essential.

Is Texas an At-Fault State?

Different U.S. states have different personal injury laws regarding car accidents. You may be wondering – is Texas a no-fault state? This means that if a person is in an accident, they can file a claim with the insurance company of whoever caused the accident.

In the example above, if the motor vehicle accident were caused by someone texting while driving, victims would file an insurance claim with the distracted driver’s insurance company rather than their own insurer. If the at-fault person’s auto insurance coverage isn’t enough to provide the victims with fair compensation, the victims can file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party.

Modified Comparative Fault – 51% Bar

Texas uses modified comparative fault, meaning that if the accident happened due to negligence of multiple parties, the people involved can only pursue compensation up to the point where they are liable.

For example, if someone is texting while driving and t-bone a person running a red light, the court may find that both drivers share liability in the accident. The court will also determine the percentage of fault for both drivers. The driver who ran the red light may have been 70% at fault, whereas the driver who was texting could be found 30% at fault.

Since the drivers share liability, their eligibility for fair compensation is decreased by the percentage of their fault.

Texas’ modified comparative fault laws also have a bar for entry. This means that car accident victims can only pursue compensation from car accidents if they are less than 51% responsible. In the above example, the driver who ran the red light could not seek compensation from the other vehicle involved in the accident because the other driver was only found to be 30% to blame.

Can Passengers Be Found Liable for a Car Accident in Texas?

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If the accident happened as a direct result of the passenger in a car accident, then the passenger would be at fault. In any accident, there are several potentially liable parties, all of whom could be partially or wholly responsible for another person’s personal injuries. 

A passenger in a car can be found liable if they:

  • Distract the driver
  • Obscure the driver’s vision
  • Impair the driver’s ability to operate the vehicle
  • Interfere with the vehicle
  • Encourage the driver to behave recklessly

If you were a passenger in an accident and you were not at fault for the crash, a San Antonio personal injury lawyer can help prove that the driver involved in the accident was responsible for the accident, not you.

If You Are a Passenger in a Car Accident, What Are Your Rights?

As a passenger in a car accident, it can be challenging to know what to do, especially when the accident doesn’t involve your actions or your vehicle.

Understanding your rights as a passenger in a car accident can help ensure you are able to hold the at-fault party liable in court. If you have been a passenger in a car crash, call a San Antonio car accident attorney with Janicek Law today at 210-366-4949 to schedule your free consultation.

Requesting Contact Information From Other Drivers

A passenger in a car accident can ask for their driver’s or the other driver’s insurance details and contact information. To file an insurance claim, passengers will need the name and auto insurance information of the driver responsible. 

If the other driver in the accident refuses to give a victim their name, phone number, policy number, and address, the police can gather this necessary information.

Requesting Medical Treatment for Injuries

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Driver and passenger injuries can be severe and even life-threatening, which is why anyone involved in a motor vehicle accident has the right to seek medical care. Victims should seek immediate medical attention following an accident, even if their injuries don’t seem severe. 

What may seem like minor injuries like back pain or a headache could be serious injuries that adrenaline or shock is masking. 

Receiving proactive medical treatment can ensure any external or internal injuries are identified and treated before things get worse. Additionally, it ensures that injuries are recorded by a medical professional, which can help prove what damages the victim suffered. Our San Antonio traumatic brain injury lawyer can help victims who have suffered brain injuries.

Passenger Injuries

Car accidents can cause a range of injuries. Some of the most common car accident injuries include:

  • Contusions
  • Lacerations
  • Crush injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Amputations
  • Whiplash
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries

If you’re a passenger who has suffered severe injuries, you have grounds to reach out to one our our personal injury attorneys.

Requesting the Police Report

passenger in a car accident settlement

Another right that passengers have in a motor vehicle accident is their right to request a police report detailing the accident. Any time an accident occurs, someone should call the police. Law enforcement officers will gather information about the accident, outline the facts of the case, and record any statements from witnesses or victims.

This information could be incredibly valuable when filing a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company or when filing a personal injury case.

Declining a Conversation With an Insurance Company

A passenger in a car accident may also decline to speak to the driver’s insurance company. Speaking to the other driver’s insurance company may cause you to forfeit your right to pursue compensation from the other driver. The same goes for the driver you were riding with. Your best option is to seek legal advice from a San Antonio personal injury lawyer before speaking to any insurance adjuster about the situation.

Requesting Compensation From the At-Fault Driver Through an Insurance Claim

Like other drivers, passengers injured in an accident have the right to pursue compensation for their injuries. All Texas drivers are required to have bodily injury liability insurance, meaning the insurance company of the driver at-fault should be able to provide some kind of coverage. 

A San Antonio personal injury attorney on our team will be able to walk you through the claims process, ensuring your injury claim is filed correctly and on time.

Receiving Compensation From Drivers in No-Fault States

In no-fault states, a passenger in a car accident can turn toward the driver who was in the car with them in order to receive coverage. Drivers in no-fault states are often required to have medical payment (med-pay) coverage or personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.

If the driver’s insurance policy doesn’t cover all of the passenger’s medical expenses, the passenger can also turn to their own health insurance for coverage. 

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against the At-Fault Driver in Texas

what to do if you're injured in a car accident as a passenger

While the at-fault driver’s car insurance policy may cover some medical expenses or lost wages, victims of car accidents often suffer from injuries that cannot be easily quantified. Additionally, personal auto insurance companies rarely want to give away money, even if the money is going to an innocent car accident victim. 

If an uninsured motorist causes an accident, victims may not receive enough insurance coverage to pay their medical bills or supplement their lost wages. In any of these cases, victims should contact a car accident lawyer who can help prove negligence in court.

Seeking legal representation from a personal injury lawyer is crucial to any car crash or personal injury case. If you were a passenger in a car accident, an experienced car accident lawyer can help you file a claim and a lawsuit for your personal injuries.

How Much Money Can a Passenger in a Car Accident Get in Texas?

Passengers injured in a car accident can recover compensation for several damages, some of which include:

  • Medical costs for immediate medical attention and extended medical care
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Loss of consortium
  • Funeral expenses, if the accident resulted in wrongful death. Be sure to contact a San Antonio wrongful death lawyer for more information.

San Antonio Car Accident Attorney

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Being in any auto accident can be stressful, regardless of whether or not you were behind the wheel. If you or an immediate family member has been injured as a passenger, the legal team at Janicek Law is here for you.

An experienced car accident lawyer can help you file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, help you navigate no-fault claims, or even help you file a personal injury lawsuit against the person responsible for the accident. With over 20 years of experience helping San Antonio injury victims receive fair compensation, you can rest easy knowing we will do what it takes to help you seek justice. 

Call us at 210-366-4949 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney on our team.


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