On April 7, a 17-year-old from Jefferson City, MO was involved in a fatal car crash. He was sitting in the passenger seat as his 18-year-old friend drove a Chevrolet HHR. As the car continued down Walnut Acres Road in Lohman, MO, the driver lost control while taking the curve too fast.
He overcorrected, and the car started to skid off the road. The vehicle hit an embankment and overturned. The passenger was not wearing a seatbelt and was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. The driver was wearing a seatbelt and was not injured.
Can Passengers File a Claim for Personal Injury or Wrongful Death?
This was a tragic accident that had deadly consequences for one of the young people involved. Fortunately, the driver was not injured, but his friend lost his life. And that means it’s possible for the passenger’s family to file a claim for wrongful death on his behalf.
Additionally, if the passenger had lived, he could have filed a personal injury claim against the driver’s insurance provider. So if you’ve ever wondered if you could sue if you were the passenger in an accident, the answer is yes. Doing so would ensure you’d be compensated for any medical treatment or lost wages you might be dealing with after a Maryland car accident caused by your friend or family member.
Granted, you should know that insurance companies often make claims like this more difficult than they need to be. Once they find out the driver you’re filing a claim against is your friend, they might try to guilt you into dropping the claim so they don’t have to pay out what they owe. But you deserve to have your medical bills and other expenses fully covered, so don’t let the insurance company exploit your relationship with the driver in order to save money. Be sure to get guidance from a Maryland personal injury lawyer if the insurance provider refuses to pay what you deserve.
Making a Wrongful Death Claim
In the news story above, the passenger’s parents could make a claim for wrongful death. In this case, it would be against the driver’s insurance company. After all, the parents will have to pay for burial or cremation, as well as a funeral, and not every family has the money to do that immediately following a tragic auto accident.
So in this case, the parents could make a wrongful death claim to get compensation for funeral costs, pain and suffering, and possibly other damages. Of course, just as with personal injury claims against the driver, insurance providers don’t usually make it easy to get the compensation you deserve after an auto accident.
This is why it’s so important to talk to a lawyer before filing a claim for wrongful death or personal injury. A Maryland car accident attorney can advise you from the beginning of your case to the end, increasing the chances you’ll get the compensation you need. Contact a local attorney today to schedule a free initial consultation.