INJURY BLOG
How to get compensation if I was a carpooling passenger in a car crash?

Kim Welch Law March 29, 2021

Carpool Claims Are Tricky. Here’s What You Need to Do.

carpool laneWith each year that passes, carpooling is becoming commonplace. It makes logical sense for multiple employees traveling to work at the same time and in the same direction to share a car. It makes sense for one parent to drive multiple children to and from soccer practice.

And not only that, but many employers offer benefits to those who carpool, there is less need for parking, and you get to use the carpool lane! Combined with the environmental impacts, where studies show that effective carpooling can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 7.2 million tons each year, it seems like an all-around good thing to carpool.

While this is the case, if you are a passenger when carpooling, you are putting your safety in the hands of others every day. If you are unfortunate enough to be in an accident when carpooling, it can be a little tricky to claim the compensation you need. If you were carpooling in Colorado Springs or Las Vegas and were in an accident, here is some advice for you to follow.

Establish fault

As with all auto accidents, to make a claim, you need to establish fault (liability). If the other vehicle’s driver ran a red light and caused an accident, they will be held liable, and you can claim their insurance policy.

There can also be split liability in accidents. For example, if the driver of the vehicle you were in did not yield to on-coming traffic, and the other party started to drive dangerously because of this, and it led to an accident, then both parties may end up sharing the blame. They will both be held responsible for compensation claims by all parties involved (including passengers).

In cases where you are claiming against two drivers, your compensation will be split between their policies. The insurance companies and their attorneys will establish the division of responsibility. For example, one driver could be held liable for 35% of the accident. Therefore 35% of your compensation will be claimed through their insurance company.

This can get complicated when a third party (yourself and other “carpoolers”) is involved. We advise passengers, like yourself, to speak to a personal injury attorney before pursuing compensation. These can be complicated claims, and if you don’t work with someone who has experience in handling claims like these, you could lose tens of thousands of dollars in compensation.

Lastly, suppose there were multiple passengers in the carpooling car, all with injuries and all seeking compensation. In that case, the limit of compensation allowed by the at-fault party’s policy will be split between you. An example would be a $100,000 limit, split between 4 passengers means that you would only be entitled to claim $25,000 from their insurance policy.

Speak to an attorney

Personal injury claims as a third party can be very complicated. You were not in control of either vehicle and (in most cases) cannot be held responsible for the accident. Yet you are still entitled to claim compensation for your injuries.

Due to the complicated nature of these claims, we advise you to speak to an attorney before pursuing any claim. Statistically speaking, you are more likely to receive more compensation when working with an attorney than doing it by yourself. And not only that but doing so can take the complications and stresses away from you and allows someone with experience and knowledge in the field to do the heavy lifting.

You may end up claiming against a friend, colleague, or family member’s insurance (as we will discuss below), and this can be emotionally difficult or complicated. Working with the right attorney can often be the most sensitive way to do this. Kim Welch is a friendly and compassionate attorney with years of experience in personal injury law. By working with her and her team, you can effectively and efficiently make your personal injury claim while reducing the risk of damaging those personal relationships.

Call us today at (888) 590-5510 for your free, no-obligation consultation.

Remember, you’re suing an insurance company, not a friend or colleague.

Often people worry about bringing a claim because a friend or family member caused an accident. This can impact personal relationships and get a bit sticky and complicated. But the process of making a claim and receiving compensation will be done by insurance companies. Your friend or colleague will not go out of pocket to pay for your injuries.

Your relationship shouldn’t stop you from claiming against their insurance. By not doing so, you could end up paying for your medical bills for years. This could cost you tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars. You should not be put out of pocket when you are injured and it wasn’t your fault.

Have Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Having your own uninsured motorist coverage on your policy is vital if the responsible party does not have adequate coverage.

Having Uninsured Motorist Coverage allows us to claim on your own policy to “top up” the value of you claim, where it lacked from the other party (or parties in cases of split liability). Once again, you shouldn’t ever have to be out of pocket for an injury that wasn’t your fault, and this is why you carry your insurance.

Next steps following a carpooling accident

Carpooling accidents can become very complex, very quickly. With multiple parties and multiple insurance policies involved, there are a lot of balls to juggle in these situations.

If you were a passenger in a carpooling vehicle, whether on your way to work, to drop the kids off at school, or out to dinner with friends and involved in an accident, then you have the right to fair compensation. As with all car accidents, if you were not at fault, you should not go out of pocket. Your personal injuries, personal belongings, and legal fees (among other costs) are all expenses that can be claimed from the at-fault party.

If you feel stuck in your situation and aren’t sure what to do, please call Kim Welch Law today at (888) 590-5510. We understand that these carpooling circumstances may involve friends, colleagues, or family members, so you might feel uncomfortable making a claim. However, our compassionate team can help you to figure out the best course of action for your situation. We offer a free initial consultation with absolutely no obligation to continue, meaning that you have nothing to lose but everything to gain.

We will work with you to make the complicated claims process as simple and easy as possible, and we will work with you every step of the way so that you fully understand where you stand in this claim. Please get in touch today for your free consultation by calling (888) 590-5510 or completing our website’s contact form.

We are here to help and support you in your claim and look forward to hearing from you.