Passenger Negligence in a Car Accident

Passenger Negligence in a Car Accident

Were you hurt in a car accident in Mobile, AL because of something your passenger did? You don’t have to suffer the financial consequences on top of your injury. At Lattof & Lattof, P.C., our experienced injury lawyers are here to make sure you don’t leave money on the table. 

Cases involving passenger negligence can be complex. Our Mobile passenger negligence attorneys are here to help. Call our lawyers today for a free case review, so that we can sit down, listen to your story, and discuss legal options for getting the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

How Our Mobile Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help with Your Passenger Negligence Claim

How Our Mobile Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help with Your Passenger Negligence Claim

A simple car accident case can quickly become complicated when neither driver is clearly at fault. Your passenger’s conduct can also cause an accident even if they weren’t driving. In these situations, the passenger can be held responsible for the damage.

The last thing anyone wants to do is accuse a friend or loved one of causing an accident – especially when they weren’t even driving. However, it might be the only way to recover compensation for your own injuries. You could also be left on the hook for another driver’s expenses if you don’t take action.

At Lattof & Lattof, P.C., our Mobile personal injury lawyers understand the challenges accident victims face. We know that the bills may be piling up while you struggle to recover physically. Our lawyers are up to the challenge. 

We handle every aspect of your case so that you can focus on recovering. Our Mobile car accident attorney will:

  • Listen to your story and give our honest opinion about your personal injury case
  • Build a strong defense when someone else tries to sue you for damages solely because you were the driver
  • Investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident
  • Locate any surveillance footage or data that might show your passenger’s conduct
  • Locate all available sources of compensation, including insurance policies that might cover your passenger’s actions
  • Handle all communications with the insurance companies and defense lawyers involved in your case

For two decades, our lawyers have focused exclusively on helping accident victims get fair compensation. When you hire Lattof & Lattof, P.C., you will have a dedicated and experienced accident lawyer in your corner every step of the way. Call our legal team today to learn more about how we can help. 

Passenger Negligence Can Cause Serious Injuries

Car accident injuries are often serious. Even if you aren’t injured yourself, it can be difficult to know how extensive another driver’s injuries will be. 

Imagine that your car technically caused the accident. That means you could be held financially responsible even though your passenger’s negligence was the true cause.

Whether you or a person in the other vehicle were hurt, it is important to take action to protect yourself. Some common serious injuries that can result from a car accident include:

Car insurance policies have damage caps. Because of these policy limits, the injured party may decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages that exceed the cap. You yourself might need treatment that your policy doesn’t cover. 

Our injury attorneys at Lattof & Lattof, P.C. are here to help. We work closely with you to understand the big picture—so that we can learn what caused the accident. Protecting your finances and your future is our number one priority, so call us today to see how we can help.

Facts and Circumstances are Important in Proving Passenger Negligence

Drivers often know they can recover compensation if another driver causes a car accident. However, careless actions of a passenger might also be the root cause of an accident. Every person has a duty to avoid doing things that put others in harm’s way—even if that person isn’t behind the wheel.

The key to proving passenger negligence is showing that the passenger’s actions were unreasonable under the circumstances.

Common Examples of Passenger Negligence

Some examples of actions that could amount to passenger negligence include:

  • Throwing things at the driver
  • Grabbing the steering wheel
  • Covering the driver’s eyes to make it difficult to see the road
  • Placing an object directly in the driver’s line of sight 
  • Abruptly opening the vehicle door while the car is moving
  • Making loud or shocking noises while the car is moving
  • Hanging their feet out the window or putting them on the dashboard
  • Encouraging the driver to get behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Like any other car accident case, proving passenger negligence requires a detailed investigation into the circumstances of the accident. Our personal injury attorneys in Mobile work with experts and use our skills to resolve the important legal issues in your case. 

At Lattof & Lattof, P.C., we have the manpower, experience and dedication needed to hold your negligent passenger financially responsible.

Elements of an Mobile, AL Passenger Negligence Claim

Almost every car accident lawsuit is based on negligence. Negligence is a legal term for carelessness. In other words, the responsible party did not intend to cause an accident, but acted carelessly or recklessly so that the accident happened anyway.

To prove someone was legally negligent, four basic elements are relevant. The legal requirements to prove someone was negligent are:

  • Duty of care
  • Breach
  • Causation
  • Damages (or injury)

The “duty” element is usually fairly simple to establish. All people—even passengers in vehicles—have a duty to avoid careless actions that could hurt others. 

To prove the “breach” element, we identify how your passenger was careless. In other words, we present evidence to show the actions the passenger took to distract you or otherwise cause the accident. Our Mobile car accident lawyers will then put the pieces together to show that the breach directly caused your injuries (the “damages”). 

Although this process may seem simple, passenger negligence cases often create a “he said, she said” situation where each party accuses the other of causing the accident. In fact, it is possible for multiple parties to share responsibility. This is a key reason why you need a strong and experienced accident lawyer by your side.

The Role of Shared Responsibility in Passenger Negligence Cases

In many car accident cases, one person is not completely to blame for the accident. When multiple people share the blame, something called “comparative negligence” comes into play. Comparative negligence laws are different depending upon the state.

Alabama uses a contributory negligence system. This means that sharing any degree of fault for an accident means that you’ll be prohibited from recovering compensation. Yes, even sharing one or two percent of the blame means that you’ll lose the right to seek compensation.

At the same time, if any of the blame is allocated to you, you’ll be on the hook for damages suffered by others in the crash. That’s not right if your passenger – and not you – is really to blame.

The skill of your accident attorney is extremely important in cases involving contributory negligence. At Lattof & Lattof, P.C., our accident lawyers will fight to make sure responsibility is allocated correctly so that you aren’t unfairly left on the hook for damages. 

Getting Fair Compensation When Passenger Negligence Causes a Car Accident

When passenger negligence causes a car accident, the passenger will usually try to deny their role. Parties attempt to shift the blame away from themselves because the damages involved can be significant. 

Fair compensation for injuries sustained in a car accident may include:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Physical therapy and rehab
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of your future earning capacity
  • Lost employment benefits
  • Pain and suffering
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Emotional trauma and PTSD
  • Property damage

Our skilled injury lawyers at Lattof & Lattof, P.C. are committed to working through unfounded allegations to protect your rights. We can help you get the valuable compensation you need if you were hurt in a car accident caused by your passenger’s careless actions.

Time is Limited to File an Alabama Injury Claim

It’s always important to act quickly in hiring an experienced injury lawyer after a car accident. You don’t have an unlimited amount of time to pursue your right to compensation. 

Car insurance companies place time limits on how quickly you must file your claim. If your injuries are serious enough to warrant a personal injury lawsuit, the state of Alabama itself imposes time restrictions. You have only two years after the auto accident to sue the negligent passenger for damages.

Call Our Trusted Mobile Passenger Negligence Attorneys for a Free Case Review Today

If you were hurt in a car accident, we know that you have enough to worry about. Quality legal advice does not have to be expensive. At Lattof & Lattof, P.C., our law firm evaluates your case for free. 

Even better, our lawyers work on a contingency basis. That means you don’t have to pay our accident attorneys’ fees up front. 

Our experienced Mobile passenger negligence attorneys are available 24/7 to take your call. Take the first step in protecting your legal rights and schedule your 100% free consultation today.