Who Is Liable for a Passenger’s Injury in a Car Accident in Texas?
Like drivers, passengers in Texas vehicle accidents have the right to hold the at-fault motorist accountable for their injuries and any other damage. However, as a passenger, you may have additional choices for submitting a claim or pursuing a lawsuit.
A passenger, for example, may be able to collect compensation from the following sources, depending on the circumstances of the accident.
The At-Fault Driver of Another Vehicle
If you sue the other driver following a vehicle accident in Houston, you must demonstrate to the court that the other driver was negligent. To do so, a party must show four elements:
- That the motorist owed the public a duty of care
- Whether the driver violated their duty of care
- Whether the accident would’ve occurred if the other driver had acted differently
- That their carelessness was the cause of your injury
If the irresponsible motorist who caused the accident has auto insurance, you may submit a reimbursement claim to their insurance company.
The Driver of the Vehicle You Were in
Suppose the driver of the vehicle you were riding in caused the collision and you were harmed. In that case, you can file a third-party responsibility claim with the motorist’s insurance carrier.
For example, if the automobile you were traveling in rear-ended another car in traffic, the driver who rear-ended the vehicle ahead would likely be held responsible.
Your Own Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Drivers may lack insurance coverage or have insufficient liability limitations to cover all of the charges.
If the at-fault driver does not have vehicle insurance or has insufficient coverage to pay all charges, you can submit a claim to your auto insurance company under uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage applies if you are in an accident with an uninsured driver, even if you are a passenger in someone else’s automobile.
What if more than one party is at fault?
Texas employs a modified comparative fault rule when determining culpability in car accidents. In other words, both drivers might share a portion of the blame for the accident. Any damages awarded to the plaintiff in the lawsuit can be reduced by their share of the blame in the accident.
If culpability is assigned to both the driver of your car and the driver of the other vehicle, it may affect how you seek reimbursement.
For example, if the driver of the car you were in was determined to be 20% at fault, and the other driver was 80% at fault, you would need to seek compensation for 20% of your losses from the driver of your vehicle and 80% from the other driver.
If your losses total $100,000, you might try to recover $80,000 from the other motorist and $20,000 from the driver of your car.
How do I prove who caused my car accident?
Determining fault is critical in deciding how to move forward with a car accident lawsuit. Before you can file a claim, you must first figure out and prove who caused the collision. Identifying and analyzing all relevant evidence will aid in determining who was at fault.
The evidence varies depending on the situation. However, it may include:
- The responding officer’s police report
- Interviews with witnesses
- Video footage of the collision, when available
- Photographs or videos captured at the site of the accident
- The automobiles involved
- Your medical history
- Evidence of your losses
All Texas vehicle accident claims need proof of fault. To be awarded damages, you and your legal counsel must demonstrate that the at-fault driver was negligent in causing the incident.