Passenger vehicles are involved in the largest amount of motor-vehicle crash fatalities each year. These crashes impact the drivers of vehicles, but the passengers can also be seriously injured. When passengers are injured in car crashes, there are often several different avenues to obtain compensation. Injured passengers can initiate legal action against the driver of the other vehicle that caused a car crash, as well as the driver of the car in which they were riding if that driver was at fault. Below is additional information about the rights of injured passengers to pursue compensation after they have been injured in a car crash in Missouri.
Pursuing Claims Against Drivers of Other Vehicles
If the driver of another vehicle is responsible for the accident, an injured passenger can pursue a claim against that driver to obtain insurance proceeds that cover that driver. An injured passenger has a right to obtain compensation for damages incurred because of the car accident. The amount of compensation obtained, however, might not be enough to cover all of the damages that a passenger faces, particularly if the other driver maintained only minimum coverage. If underinsured coverage has been purchased as well by either the passenger or on the car in which the passenger was riding, then a claim may be made with respect to that coverage as well.
Pursuing a Claim Against the Driver of Your Vehicle
If a passenger is injured in an accident caused by the driver of a car in which the passenger is riding, then the passenger can pursue a claim against the insurance policy covering either that driver or vehicle. Special rules apply, however, when the passenger is riding in a vehicle that is driven by a household member. Many insurance policies exclude the right of accident victims to pursue compensation from household members and spouses. Missouri law holds these provisions unenforceable up to the statutory liability minimum requirements of the Missouri Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law.
Pursuing a Claim When Both Drivers Share Fault
In some Missouri car crashes, both drivers may have been at fault for causing the crash. In these situations, an injured passenger can pursue a claim against the insurance policies of both drivers according to each driver’s percentage of fault. An insurance carrier will then pay the percentage allocated to the driver insured under that policy.
Pursuing Compensation Under Your Own Insurance Policy
One optional type of coverage selected by people obtaining car insurance is med pay. This additional coverage pays for medical bills up to policy limits if a person is harmed in a car crash, no matter who caused the accident.
Med pay is also said to “follow from vehicle to vehicle,” which means that if a person is injured as a passenger in another individual’s vehicle, that person can initiate a claim under that driver’s policy as well as the passenger’s policy. Med pay can be an attractive option because a victim is not required to pay a deductible, and utilizing the coverage does not raise insurance premium rates.
Another optional coverage involves underinsured coverage, which is coverage that comes into play when the at-fault driver’s insurance policy limit is not enough to cover an injured passenger’s damages.
An Experienced Missouri Car Crash Attorney Can Help
Regardless of who caused your crash, one of the best things that you can to maximize your chances of obtaining compensation is to promptly obtain the assistance of an experienced car crash attorney. Contact House Law LLC today to schedule a free case evaluation.