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Do You Have Rights if You Are a Passenger in a Car Crash?

May 26, 2020

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim

At the end of February, a man was criminally charged with a DUI-by-marijuana after he lost control of his vehicle and hit two other vehicles. In addition to the DUI charges, he also faces charges of involuntary manslaughter due to the fact that he was carrying a passenger at the time that died as a result of the crash.

Although criminal charges were filed in this most recent case, it is important that all passengers know that if the driver they are riding with caused the crash, they can also file a civil claim to obtain compensation. So, how can you get it?

Auto Insurance Policies

When you are injured as a passenger, there are two possible auto insurance policies that may pay you compensation. The first is the insurance company of the driver.

If the driver does not have auto insurance and you have a car, you can obtain compensation from your own auto insurance policy if you have uninsured motorist benefits.

Sometimes, people are hesitant to file a claim with the driver’s insurance company because they do not want to file a lawsuit against their friend. It is important to understand that you are not filing a lawsuit against anyone. You are filing a claim with the insurance company. Still, sometimes passengers are worried that their friend’s or family member’s insurance rates will increase. However, insurance rates typically go up any time there is an accident caused by the driver’s fault, so this should not be a concern either.

The Same Laws Apply to Passengers

Just as it is important to know where to obtain compensation from after a crash, it is also important to know the laws that apply to car accident claims. One of the main laws is the statute of limitations, or the time limit, that you have to file your claim. In Pennsylvania, car accident victims have only two years from the date of the crash to file their claim. If this statute of limitations expires, you are barred from receiving any compensation at all.

Our Pennsylvania Car Accident Attorneys can Help with Your Claim

If you have been injured as a passenger in a car accident, our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers can help. At van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim, our knowledgeable attorneys can help you during the aftermath of a crash, including determining which insurance company to claim compensation from, and helping you secure the full amount of damages you deserve. Call us today at (215) 486-0123 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation with one of our attorneys.



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