State law provides passengers with certain rights and remedies if they are injured in an Indiana car accident. Passengers have the right to assume that drivers are exhibiting reasonable caution to avoid accidents. If an accident does occur, passengers maintain the right to collect contact and insurance information from all parties involved in the collision. Further, victims maintain the right to safely investigate the accident scene, including taking photos and gathering witness information. Passengers have the right to seek medical care for their injuries and speak with an attorney to recover for their damages and losses.
Under the state’s Guest Statute, Indiana Code 34-30-11, passengers cannot file claims against a driver in certain limited situations. These situations include if the at-fault driver is a spouse, parent, child, or step-child. In most other cases, the at-fault driver may be liable for injuries the passenger suffered. However, insurance companies will often dispute fault. In most cases, passengers are not at fault for the accident. However, passengers might be partially responsible if they engaged in conduct that led the driver to an accident. Moreover, passengers who voluntarily got into a vehicle with an impaired driver may have limitations on recovery. Passengers in these situations may have their damages recovery reduced by their percentage of fault. Because Indiana follows the comparative fault theory, passengers should seek representation from an attorney to avoid the other party from assigning undue fault.
After an accident, the at-fault driver may be liable for a passenger’s injuries. In most cases, the at-fault party’s insurance company or passenger’s uninsured motorist policy is responsible for paying damages. However, the initial settlement offers provided by insurance companies rarely cover the extent of damages, especially when the passenger suffered serious injuries.
These principles apply in both personal injury and wrongful death cases. For example, recently, an Indiana news report described an incident where a passenger suffered fatal injuries in a car accident. In that case, a pickup truck collided with a broken semi-truck on the shoulder of the road. The 16-year-old pickup truck driver, was thrown from his vehicle and airlifted to a hospital. The pickup truck’s passenger died at the scene of the accident. Additionally, the semi-truck driver was transported to a hospital for a head injury. It is unclear whether the pickup truck’s occupants were wearing seat belts; however, the airbags did deploy. This type of accident may be the basis for an Indiana wrongful death case, in which the accident victim’s loved ones can pursue a claim for compensation against either the driver of the pick-up truck or the semi-truck.
Have You Suffered Injuries in an Indiana Car Accident?
If you or someone you know has suffered injuries or died in an Indiana car accident, contact Padove Law. Attorney Burton A. Padove has extensive experience successfully handling complex Indiana personal injury lawsuits. Attorney Padove understands the devastating physical, emotional, and financial toll that accidents can take on an accident victim and their loved ones. To help ease these burdens, Attorney Padove provides his clients with diligent and personalized attention, ensuring that each case receives the time and energy it deserves. Through his representation, countless clients have recovered substantial compensation awards for their car and truck accidents, defective product claims, and medical malpractice lawsuits. Contact our office at 219-836-2200 to schedule a free initial consultation with Attorney Padove.