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What should I do if I’m a passenger injured in a crash caused by a family member or friend?

Sarasota car accident attorneys

In many cases, passengers are injured in crashes while riding in a car being driven by a family member or friend. When this happens, it may be necessary to pursue a claim to recover compensation for your damages.

Many people hesitate to do this when the accident involves a family member or friend. But it’s important to understand that they aren’t the ones directly paying for the damages. It’s actually the driver’s insurance company that’s responsible.

Recovering damages without ruining your relationship

You don’t have to ruin your relationship with a family member or friend. You can recover the damages you’re entitled to without causing them any financial hardship.

Here’s why:

  • Compensation comes from the driver’s insurance company. The driver already pays a premium for liability coverage. This coverage pays for damages accrued by passengers and other parties injured in a crash. Avoiding a claim only benefits the insurance company, not your family member or friend.
  • Your family member or friend doesn’t have to pay for an attorney. Concerns you may have are the legal costs the driver would have to bear. Fortunately, only the driver’s insurance company is responsible for paying for legal costs, such as hiring an attorney.
  • Your family member or friend may want what’s best for you. If you were injured in a crash as a passenger, your family member or friend may recognize that you sustained significant damages, and paying out-of-pocket would be financially overwhelming. If anyone is going to dispute your claim or shift the blame, it will be the insurance company.

How car accident compensation works in Florida

First, Florida is a “no-fault” state, so all drivers are required to carry their own personal injury protection coverage (PIP). If you’re a passenger riding in someone else’s car, you may have your own PIP coverage. You can either recover damages from your own PIP or the driver’s policy. In Florida, the PIP limit for medical coverage is $10,000.

PIP generally applies to minor crashes that don’t accrue a substantial amount of damages. Florida requires drivers to purchase PIP in order to keep minor car accident cases from overwhelming the courtrooms. But if serious injuries were sustained, you may be able to bypass the no-fault system and recover damages directly from the other driver’s insurance company.

Why hire an attorney?

It’s critical that you hire an experienced attorney after being involved in a crash. That’s because insurance companies (including your own) generally care more about saving money than compensating crash victims.

When pursuing PIP compensation, the insurance company may be reluctant to pay the full extent of your damages. If you were involved in a serious crash and are seeking compensation beyond the PIP limit, the driver’s insurance company may do everything in its power to avoid compensating you.

You need an experienced Florida car accident lawyer on your side to handle your case and deal with the insurance companies for you. Farrow & Pulice, P.A. have more than 20 years of experience and a wealth of legal knowledge handling complex car accident cases like yours. Our legal team is committed to serving clients in Sarasota and throughout Southwest Florida. Contact us online today to schedule your free case evaluation.

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