Driver and passenger in a car

Who is Liable for a Passenger’s injuries in Los Angeles?

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

The party who was at fault in causing the accident that injured the passenger will be responsible for the harm to the passenger. The liable party could be the driver of the car in which the passenger was riding, the driver of another car, a third party who was not inside any of the vehicles, a company, a government agency, or the passenger.

These cases can be complicated, so it could be smart to work with a California car accident attorney on your case. Let’s explore the different scenarios that can revolve around the question of who is liable for a passenger’s injuries in Los Angeles.

When One of the Drivers is at Fault

If either the driver of the vehicle in which the injured person was a passenger or the driver of another car caused the collision, that driver can be responsible for the injuries and losses of the passenger. The injured person can make a claim against the at-fault driver’s automobile liability insurance policy and seek damages for things like:

  • Medical expenses to treat the injury
  • Lost wages because of the accident, medical treatments, and recuperation time
  • Pain and suffering for the physical discomfort, inconvenience, and emotional distress of the experience
  • Disfigurement
  • Disability

Depending on the circumstances, the injured passenger might have additional categories of money damages.

Third Parties Who Can Be Responsible for a Collision

A pedestrian or bicyclist might have caused the car crash through a careless action, like stepping or riding out into traffic without looking for oncoming vehicles. When a party causes injuries to others through negligence, they can be liable for the harm that results.

What You Need to Know About Injury Claims Against the Government

An injured person has far less time to make a formal claim against the government than they have to file a lawsuit against anyone else. If you miss either deadline, you will likely lose the right to pursue compensation for your losses. You will want to talk with a lawyer as soon as possible to find out the deadline that applies to your case.

When a Passenger Can Be Liable for a Crash

Once in a while, a passenger causes an accident. For example, if the passenger was having an argument or fight with the driver or another passenger or was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they might strike the driver intentionally or unintentionally and cause a crash. In such a situation, the passenger could be liable.

What Happens if the At-Fault Party’s Insurance Refuses to Pay

The insurance company of the at-fault party might refuse to pay an injury claim if the accident happened because of an uncovered event. Let’s say that the collision happened because of street racing, which is popular here in Los Angeles. Whether the passenger was riding in a car that was involved in street racing or got injured while in another vehicle, the at-fault party’s insurance will likely decline coverage.

In that situation, the injured passenger might have several options. The passenger could file a lawsuit against the at-fault party and go after their personal assets or garnish their wages to satisfy the judgment if they win the lawsuit. Also, there might be other insurance policies under which the passenger could file a claim to help pay some of their losses. A California personal injury attorney can guide you through this complicated situation if you got injured as a passenger in Los Angeles. For legal help with your case get in touch with our office as soon as possible, we’ll gladly offer you a free consultation.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.