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Stoughton, Massachusetts Car Accident Lawyer discusses Passenger’s Rights after a Car Accident: Who to Sue?

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At DelSignore, we are local Stoughton car accident lawyers that can help people answer common questions after a car accident. In this Page, Learn what the next steps you should take if you are a passenger in a Car Accident.

Car accidents do not only affect the drivers; they can also negatively impact the lives of passengers involved in the crash. Unfortunately, passengers virtually have no control over the situation. They are unable to do anything to help avoid a crash, and must rely on the quick thinking of their driver.

Passengers can always recover from either the driver or passenger:

COMMON FEAR: if I bring a claim against the driver who is a relative or friend, will their insurance go up. Once there is an accident, the insurance company will raise the persons rates regardless of whether you make a claim; if you are injured in an accident, you should not let concern over making a friend or family members rates increase, as they will increase anyway.

If you were a passenger in a vehicle that was involved in an accident and have been injured, figuring out who is responsible for compensating you for your injuries can be complicated. Unlike a driver who can only sue the other drivers, a passenger can sue all of the drivers involved in an accident. This means that as a passenger you can not only seek compensation from the other cars involved in the accident, but also from the driver of the vehicle you were in. Unfortunately, it can become uncomfortable when the injured passenger is suing the driver of the vehicle they were in. In most instances, a passenger knows and probably is even friends with the person who was driving. However, it is important to remember that it is not fair for an injured passenger to endure a financial burden when they are not to blame for the accident.

In order to get the personal injury claim started, the injured passenger must forward documents to the insurance carrier of the car they were riding in at the time of the accident. The passenger is able to recover under Massachusetts’ “no fault” statute. Under no-fault, the driver’s insurance of the vehicle the passenger was in would pay for medical expenses and other out of pocket expenses up to a certain amount regardless of who is at fault. Specifically, personal injury protection (PIP) benefits cover the passenger’s medical bills, lost wages and other related expenses arising out of an accident up to $8,000. However, if the passenger has private health insurance and their medical bills exceed $2,000, the excess should be submitted to their health insurance carrier. However, pain and suffering are not a component of the no-fault system.

It is also important to notify the insurance company of the other drivers also involved in the accident. It is not the responsibility of the injured passenger to determine who caused their injuries. In order to step out of the no-fault system, certain thresholds must be met. An injured party may only file a lawsuit seeking damages for personal injury and pain and suffering if they meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Reasonable and necessary expenses exceeding $2,000 for the treatment of injuries related to the accident;
  • A broken or fractured bone;
  • Permanent or serious disfigurement;
  • Amputation of a limb;
  • Loss of sight or hearing; or
  • Death

If your injuries fall into any of the above categories, you are not limited to the no-fault policy and can hold the at-fault drivers responsible for the accident. Through a third-party car insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit, you can pursue compensation for losses that include pain and suffering and other non-economic damages that are not available under no-fault.

It is important to remember though that there are time limits in which you may file your personal injury lawsuit. In Massachusetts, the statute of limitations for injuries arising out of a car accident is 3 years from the date of the accident.

Delsignore Law can Help You Through the Claim Process

It can be difficult to imagine filing a lawsuit against a friend who was driving the vehicle you were in, but it is important to remember that you should not have to be responsible for the financial burden caused by your injuries. The attorneys of DelSignore Law understand the complexities surrounding injured passenger claims, and you can be confident in our ability to pursue fair compensation for you. Call or text anytime at (781) 686-5924.

For more information following a car crash, visit our website to learn more. Otherwise, feel free to contact us with any questions regarding your case.

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Michael was very professional and explained the process clearly and told us to be patient. After one year the charges got dismissed in the trial. Excellent knowledge of the court systems in the area of Boston. Would highly recommend him Ashwani
A careless decision on my part left me facing charges which would have severely hampered my ability to stay employed and support myself. But attorney DelSignore's skillful analysis and challenging of the evidence against me resulted in a conviction on a lesser charge. Now I'll be able to go on with my life, having learned a lesson I'll never forget. Thank you, Michael. Scott
Mike stuck with my case for 3.5 years and always kept me informed regarding the status. Ultimately, because of his due diligence, we ended up with an OUI not guilty verdict. This case could have gone many ways but his thorough review of the case and exceptional preparedness for trial ultimately drove a positive outcome. Thank you Mike! David
Michael DelSignore did an amazing job with my case! He was always available to answer any questions I had and helped walked me through the entire process. I could not have done it without them! I highly recommend choosing this law firm to deal with your legal needs, you will not be dissatisfied. Ashley
I cannot express the gratitude towards Michael for his amazing work and help. It was a very stressful event and they certainly put me at as much ease as possible. From start to finish it took 14 months and all the way through they were both very engaged with me. Today was worth the wait, Michael was great in court and I was rightfully found not guilty. I would recommend Michael over and over again. Claire