How Can I Seek Compensation After Being Injured as a Passenger in a Friend’s Car?

 Posted on October 30,2020 in Motor Vehicle Accidents

Hartford County car crash injury attorneyWhen you are involved in a car accident while you are driving, you probably realize that the party who caused the accident will most likely be responsible for paying for any damages to your vehicle and the costs associated with your injuries. With this in mind, it is crucial to determine exactly how the accident happened so that the liable party can be identified and held accountable.

Things can become more complicated, however, when you are injured as a passenger in someone’s vehicle. From a legal standpoint, the at-fault party is still financially responsible for your injuries, but what happens if the at-fault party is the person with whom you were riding? Seeking compensation from a friend or a loved one can be very difficult, especially if you hope to maintain a relationship with that person in the future.

Insurance Considerations

Connecticut is considered a “fault” state in regard to car accident claims. This means that injured victims can seek compensation directly from the insurance company of the driver who causes a crash. In most cases, medical damages are only paid out after fault for the accident has been determined. Presuming that your friend or loved one was the only at-fault party, you will have almost no choice but to pursue compensation from his or her insurance carrier.

Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind—for both you and your friend—is that none of this should be construed as personal. When you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence or actions, you have the right to be made whole. Similarly, your friend carries auto insurance just in case something like this were to happen. You are not betraying your friendship by seeking compensation from his or her insurance company.

Using the Right Approach

It is important to keep in mind, however, that how you approach the situation can make a difference in the future of your relationship. Being injured is bad enough; you do not need to immediately start threatening your friend with a lawsuit. Instead, with the help of an attorney, you can file a claim with your friend’s insurance carrier and open lines of communication with insurance adjusters. Depending on the circumstances of the situation, your attorney may be able to convince the insurance company to cover your losses—even if the payout exceeds your friend’s policy limits. Through good-faith negotiations, you could get the compensation you deserve while putting minimal, if any, additional strain on the relationship with your friend.

A Recent Example

A few weeks ago, a case out of Canton, Connecticut, highlighted this exact scenario. The case started in January when two friends were driving home from a casino. The driver fell asleep at the wheel, and the resulting one-car crash caused the passenger to suffer a lumbar vertebral fracture. The attorney for the injured passenger realized that the facts of the case were favorable for his client. Not wanting to “beat up on [his] client’s best friend,” he began working with the claims adjuster from the driver’s insurance company, originally asking for a $175,000 settlement.

Understanding that a jury would not likely respond well to a driver falling asleep, the insurance company was willing to negotiate. The two sides eventually reached an agreement on a $100,000 settlement to put the case to rest.

Seek Help From a Hartford Car Accident Lawyer

If you have been injured in a crash while riding in a friend’s car, it is important to fully understand your available options. Contact an experienced Connecticut personal injury attorney at Woolf Law Firm, LLC to discuss your case and the best way to proceed. Call 860-290-8690 for a free, no-obligation consultation today and let us go to work in protecting your rights.



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