Generally, when we think of a traffic accident, drivers come to mind; the victim driver and the aggressor. However, traffic accidents are so disastrous that they not only affect the people who were driving the vehicle but also those who were inside it. This raises the question: can passengers also claim compensation for their injuries?
CAN PASSENGERS OF A VEHICLE RECEIVE COMPENSATION FOR THEIR INJURIES?
The answer is yes. The occupants of a vehicle involved in a traffic accident can claim compensation for their injuries, even if they were passengers of the offending vehicle. For example, a drunk parent drives his family in the car and collides with another vehicle.
The family was in good health, but the head of the family was not, since he was driving while intoxicated. All the people in the victim’s car can request compensation, but the family of the irresponsible driver can also request it because they were secondary victims of the same accident caused by the man.
Of course,it should be noted that it will not be the same compensation for damages that the victim vehicle would receive, but that it could be reduced by “circumstantial liability”. That is, someone could attribute some part of the guilt to the people who were in the vehicle because they could say that:
• The family did not stop the man from driving, or
• Even knowing that he was in no condition to drive, they still got into the car with him.
These factors could reduce the compensation of passengers in a traffic accident, but would not exclude them from the role of victim.
UNDER WHICH CIRCUMSTANCES CAN A PASSENGER BE DENIED OF COMPENSATION?
In at least two circumstances that will be shown below with examples:
● Passengers intentionally or under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs caused the accident
Example: a parent who is picking up his teenage son at a party. The young man, under the influence of alcohol and drugs, begins to mess with the instruments his father uses to drive, such as the steering wheel or the gear lever.
If under these circumstances a traffic accident occurs, the young man would not have any right to compensation, because he was partially or completely at fault for the accident even though he was not driving the vehicle.
● The passengers of a vehicle were not significantly affected
Example: If a truck collides with a motorcycle, the passengers of the truck may be scratched by sudden braking, but they are not meaningful injuries because, compared to the injuries the passengers of the motorcycle suffered, they are insignificant.
“I AM AFRAID TO MAKE A CLAIM BECAUSE THE OFFENDER IS MY FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER”
In certain circumstances, people are afraid of starting a legal process against the driver because they think that it could damage their personal and work life and could even send them to jail, but that does not always have to be the case.
If one of the passengers in the offending vehicle was injured, passengers can claim compensation without having to contribute to the criminal prosecution of the offending person. For example, in the case mentioned above, the drunk driver’s family can request compensation from the insurer without the need to further harm their father or husband.
Of course, to do all of this, the victim must be well advised by a lawyer who specializes in the matter.
“CAN I RECEIVE COMPENSATION IF I WAS A PASSENGER ON PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION?”
Of course. Passengers on public transportation can also claim compensation for their injuries. The only difference compared to other vehicles is the identity of the defendant.
Public transit vehicles, as the name implies, are generally run by government entities. Therefore, the claim would not go to a private insurer. Instead, the lawyers would speak with the mandatory insurers in the area or the representatives of the corresponding transport entities.
“WHAT SHOULD I DO TO OBTAIN COMPENSATION IF I WAS A PASSENGER IN A TRAFFIC ACCIDENT?”
First.Notify the driver of what happened.
Second. Record the details of the event; the registration of the victim’s and the offender’s vehicle, the place of the incident, the injuries caused, a friendly agreement, or a police report (depending on the severity of the injuries and the current mental capacity of the passenger).
Third.Go to a medical center to verify the severity of the injuries and obtain the medical report that the victim passenger will need for the fourth step.
Fourth.Contact a personal injury lawyer in Lethbridge.
PASSENGERS ALSO DESERVE JUSTICE
If the passengers of a traffic accident seek a lawyer, they will have the guidance they need to present their claim. The personal injury lawyers will handle it according to the usual process; they will talk to the abuser and do whatever they can to settle out of court.
What is the purpose?
Obtain justice and compensation for the unnecessary damages the passenger suffered.