What if My Friend Caused the Crash?

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What to do if you’re a passenger in a car accident

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Being injured in a car accident as a driver is frightening enough, but what happens when you are injured in a crash while riding as a passenger in your friend’s car? Seeking compensation afterward can make you feel helpless, or even guilty—even though the accident wasn’t your fault.
Here are just a few concerns we’ve heard from passengers who were a bit wary about talking to a lawyer after being injured in a friend’s car:

I Was Riding in the At-Fault Vehicle

If you were riding in the vehicle that caused the accident, you may feel guilty, or wonder if you contributed to the crash.
Investigators may look into the possibility that you were culpable, in part, for the accident. For example, if your friend was very obviously drunk, but you allowed them to drive, you may not be able to be entirely compensated for your injuries.
However, it is ultimately the driver’s responsibility to keep you safe. No one expects you to be a “back seat driver” or control a vehicle when you aren’t even behind the wheel. If you are injured in an accident caused by your friend’s negligence, you can build a case against them.

I Don’t Want to Sue My Friend!

It is a common misconception that hiring a personal injury attorney means you’re going to file suit against someone personally. You may put off even talking to a personal injury lawyer out of loyalty to your friend.
Remember, in a car accident case, you are seeking compensation from an insurance company, and in most cases, the insurance company will settle.
Your friend’s insurance will be designed to compensate for not only their damages, but also any injuries they inadvertently cause during an accident.
If it’s the insurance premium increase that you’re worried about, that’s going to go up whether you file a claim, file a suit, or do nothing.

So Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

You should not have to face the financial and emotional trauma alone. If you suffer serious personal injury after riding as a passenger in a car or motorcycle, you are entitled to compensation.
Speak with an attorney right away, and let them know that you don’t want to cause any bad blood between you and the at-fault driver.
Personal injury lawyers aren’t here to hurt your relationships. We’re just here to look at the numbers, file the paperwork, and let you focus on healing.

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