In 2020, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles documented over 100,000 car crashes. As a result of these accidents, 10,218 passengers sustained injuries.
Collecting damages as a passenger in a vehicle is different than if you are the driver.
Liability insurance coverage
Most drivers carry liability insurance. This insurance covers injuries inflicted on another person when the driver is at fault for a car accident. As a passenger, you have three options for collecting compensation for your injuries depending on who is at fault.
- File an insurance claim against the other driver if they are 100% at fault.
- File a claim with the insurance company of the driver of the vehicle you were riding in if they were 100% at fault.
- If more than one driver was at fault, you may file claims with each driver’s insurance company.
Drivers without insurance
Drivers may pay a fee to the Virginia DMV to drive legally without insurance. They accept financial responsibility for any damages they might cause in an accident. If the at-fault driver does not have insurance, it requires you to file a lawsuit against them. You may try and recover money to pay for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Virginia requires that you file a lawsuit within two years of the accident.
Passengers in family-owned vehicles
When you are a passenger in your own vehicle, you might not be able to file a claim against your own liability insurance. In this case, you may need to use your personal health insurance to pay for your medical bills.
As a passenger in a motor vehicle accident, you have the right to collect compensation for your injuries.