Who is responsible when a passenger is injured in a car crash?
There are a lot of informative articles about liability when a driver is injured in a car crash, but not as much has been written about what happens when a passenger is injured.
Such information is very important. The big question centersaround who is responsible for paying the passenger’s medical bills and all the other associated costs (lost wages, pain and suffering, death benefits, etc.) when injured or killed while riding in a vehicle. How are the passenger or passenger’s loved ones compensated?
Who is responsible when a passenger is injured?
Assuming that there is automobile insurance available, the insurance company of whoever was at fault in the accident is mainly responsible for compensating an injured passenger, even if the passenger has his own auto or health insurance.
There are different scenarios that can occur which might, at first glance, seem a little confusing as to whose insurance company will pay.
Let’s say a truck driver is carrying a load of refrigerated products. He crosses the line and hits a car driving in the opposite direction. One of the passengers in the car is injured. Who pays? If the truck driver was hauling the refrigerated products as an independent contractor and owned the truck he was driving, then his insurance company would pay the damages. If, however, the truck he was driving was a company-owned vehicle, then the company’s insurance company would pay.
If there is not enough insurance to cover the passenger’s loss, his Under-Insured Motorist insurance could likely kick in, if he had such coverage.
This scenario is one of many reasons why hiring a personal injury attorney is so important to a case.
Who gets damages in a fatal motor vehicle accident?
In a fatal motor vehicle accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will usually pay death benefits to the family of the deceased.
Should you ever use your own automobile or health insurance?
Always, whenever possible, have you own health insurance and automobile health benefits, MedPay or PIP, pay as many health-related bills as possible.
In Wisconsin there is a “made whole” doctrine. This means thatyou may not have to reimburse your insurance carrier(s) for paying your bills, which puts more money in your pocket. The law states that the injured party should be “the first to tap into the limited pool of funds and recover on any loss,” whenever the injured party’s damages exceed the available funds.
If you were injured as a passenger in a motor vehicle accident and aren’t sure how to proceed with an insurance claim, give us a call. We’ll be happy to discuss your case with you at no charge. Our initial consultation is always free and we only get paid if we are able to get you compensation for your losses.
If you have any questions about this article, please contact us.
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If you have any questions related to personal injury law, please call us at 920-725-8464, or toll free at 1-800-529-1552. Our personal injury consultations are always free.
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