When a car crash occurs, it is not uncommon for more than just the driver to sustain injuries. If passengers are in the vehicles at the time of the incident, there is a good chance they too will endure injuries. But who is financially liable for passengers’ medical bills, lost wages, and other damages? Does insurance cover passenger injuries? Learn more below, and get legal help today.
At Dwyer & Coogan, we advocate on behalf of victims of car accidents. If you or a loved one has sustained an injury as a driver or passenger, contact our firm today for a free consultation.
Liability Insurance Generally Covers Passengers
In at-fault states like Illinois, one party generally assumes all or a majority of the responsibility for an accident. The person who assumes the most fault is liable for damages. However, if that person carries liability insurance and/or additional coverage, their insurance company is responsible for paying out damages. This is the case even if an injured party includes a passenger.
Other Types of Coverage For Passengers
Liability insurance is not the only type of insurance coverage that protects passengers in the event of a car accident:
- Ride-On Policies. Many ride-on policies also provide financial security. For instance, if you are the passenger in your own vehicle and you sustain an injury in an accident, your personal injury protection coverage will cover the cost of damages regardless of fault. The same is true for medical payments (MedPay) coverage, which strictly covers the cost of medical care after an accident.
- Bodily Injury Protection. If you were the driver and one of your passengers sustained injuries, bodily injury protection (BIP) coverage will pay the cost of their medical expenses. If you caused the accident, BIP can also pay for damages of the other vehicle’s passengers.\
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage may also kick in to pay for passenger injuries. However, for these to kick in, you must exhaust all other resources.
- Health Insurance. If you do not have any ride on policies, and if you have a basic car insurance policy that does not cover damages sustained by a passenger, you may be able to rely on your health insurance policy.
Make Sure You Are Covered
It is a good idea to invest in insurance coverage that protects both you and passengers in your vehicle. Adequate coverage includes a standard liability policy in addition to personal injury protection, bodily injury protection, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Though you may think you do not need it, it is best to be overprepared than underinsured.
Get Legal Help
In the event that you do sustain injuries as a passenger of a motor vehicle, contact an attorney as soon as possible. A skilled car accident lawyer can advise you on how to proceed in this type of situation and what you need to do to ensure an adequate recovery.
Contact Dwyer & Coogan today for a free consultation.