A passenger in a car or on a motorcycle is very much at the mercy of the vehicle operator to keep them safe from collisions. Errors made by a driver can quickly turn into tragedy when the vehicle collides with another car or is involved in a single car accident. The attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are well aware of the dangers faced by passengers in Chicago car accidents. Our law firm regularly represents passengers injured in motor vehicle crashes across Illinois and stand ready to assist you or your loved one.
As a result of the errors made both by the driver of the vehicle as well as other vehicles on the road, passengers can be seriously injured– through no fault of their own. The law readily accepts that a passenger on a motorcycle or in a car is incapable of causing or preventing an accident and as a result passengers are truly free from causing almost any type of traffic accident.
Legal rights of passengers injured in Chicago car accidents
A passenger injured in a motor vehicle accident is entitled to pursue a cause of action against all negligent parties that caused or contributed to their injuries. This means that a passenger can look to both the driver of the vehicle as well as the operators of other vehicles that were involved in the collision to recover damages for their injuries. Particularly, in more significant injury cases, it may be necessary to review the applicable insurance coverage for all parties to determine how to maximize the amount of insurance coverage that is available.
Claims against friends and family for negligent operation of vehicles
Let’s face it, most of us don’t ride in the car of a stranger or get on the back of a motorcycle of someone we just met. The majority of passengers are family members or friends with the driver of the vehicle. As a result, many seriously injured passengers are hesitant to pursue a claim with the driver’s insurance carrier– let alone file a lawsuit against that person who was operating the vehicle involved in the collision.
Role of auto insurance in car passenger injury claims
Despite the initial awkwardness of filing a claim against a relative or good friend, the reality is that most motor vehicle claims are paid directly by the insurance company for the driver or owner of the vehicle and not out of the driver’s personal assets.
As a party who caused an accident, the driver’s insurance company has a contractual obligation to pay for all crash-related injuries that a passenger suffered — regardless of their relationship with the driver. Consequently, as strange as it may sound, a child/passenger in a car accident caused by a parent has a right to recover damages for their injuries including medical expenses, pain and suffering as well as lost wages. Similarly, one spouse has a right to recover damages from the other spouse if their negligence caused an accident.
Even if an insurance company is unwilling to settle a claim out of court, auto and motorcycle insurance policies require the company to provide an attorney for the driver in court and pay any judgment against them– all without taking any monies from the driver's personal funds.
Children Passengers Injured In Auto Accidents
Unfortunately, children are often the passengers that are injured the most in vehicle accidents. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car accidents are the leading killer of children in the U.S. In 2009, 1314 children under 14-years of age died and another 179,000 were injured in auto accidents.
It is a very difficult situation when a child is injured when riding with a family member, friend or caregiver. However, just as in other passenger injury accident cases, an experienced injury attorney can handle negotiations with the at-fault person's insurance company directly to avoid any conflict in the close relationship. This can create the needed buffer between the parents and the legal situation regarding financial compensation from someone close to them.
Contacting a car passenger injury attorney in Chicago, Illinois
If any of your family members were in a passenger in a car, bus, or motorcycle accident in the Chicagoland area or anywhere in the State of Illinois and were injured, it is important to receive immediate medical attention for your injuries prior to speaking to an attorney who specializes in passengers personal injury cases. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has successfully represented many passengers to resolve their claims against car and motorcycle drivers. Our rapid response allows us to gather important evidence and eyewitness accounts on how the accident occurred so we can determine who is at fault or responsible for the crash.
Moreover, as dedicated accident lawyers in Illinois, we are respectful of your privacy and your wishes, particularly when a claim involves a family member or friend. We will do our best to resolve matters as fairly and expeditiously as possible. Contact our office today for a free consultation with one of our skillful lawyers to discuss your legal options. The evaluation is free and we never charge a fee without obtaining financial recovery for you.