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Recovering Damages from a Negligent Driver When You Were Their Passenger

Posted on in Car Accidents

IL injury attorneyA majority of litigation related to car accidents is between strangers who were in different vehicles. A driver you do not know runs a red light and hits your car, so you sue. But what if you were a passenger of the driver who caused the accident? You still have the right to recover compensation for your injuries. If you were hurt by a careless driver while riding in their vehicle, you should contact an attorney as soon as you can after the accident. The crash scene needs to be investigated and any physical evidence needs to be promptly documented before it can be discarded or destroyed.

What Stops Injured Passengers of Careless Drivers from Seeking Compensation?

Legally speaking, nothing. If you were injured by a negligent driver, you have every legal right to recover compensation from them regardless of whether you were their passenger or a stranger in another vehicle. The main reason many injured passengers of negligent drivers never seek compensation is because they have a relationship with the driver. Odds are, if you were riding in a car driven by someone else, the driver is your friend or even relative. Most people are reluctant to contact a lawyer and seek compensation from their friend or family member.

It is important to remember that when you recover monetary damages from a driver, the driver is rarely the one who has to pay - it is their insurance company. Assuming the driver had insurance that complies with Illinois insurance coverage requirements, their insurance company will be the one compensating you for your injuries. Additionally, if the driver you were riding with caused an accident, their insurance company is going to find out about it anyway. If it was a single-vehicle accident, the driver will need to file a claim. If another vehicle was involved, that driver is going to file a claim. You should not be concerned that seeking compensation will harm your friend or family member.

If I Call a Lawyer, Does That Mean I Will Have to File a Lawsuit?

No - in many cases, an attorney can negotiate with the insurance company and reach a settlement without ever needing to go to court and file a lawsuit. This means that you, your lawyer, and the insurance company may simply come to an agreement about how much compensation you will receive without ever having to go to court. There are some cases where the insurance company refuses to agree to a reasonable settlement and litigation becomes necessary. Even if your lawyer suggests filing a lawsuit, remember that you will still mostly be going after the insurance company, not the driver.

Call a Wheaton Car Accident Attorney Today

If you were injured by a negligent driver, call the Law Offices of David W. Clark, P.C. at 630-665-5678 for a free consultation to find out what kind of compensation you may be entitled to. It is important to make the call as soon after the accident as you can, even if you do not think your injuries are that bad right away. Car accident injuries can sometimes take several days to show up, and critical evidence at the scene of the crash may have been lost by then. Contact a Wheaton Car Accident Attorney today to protect your legal rights after a car crash.

 

Source:

https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/Insurance/Consumers/ConsumerInsurance/Auto/Pages/auto-insurance-shopping-guide.aspx

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