Car Accidents and Passenger Injuries: Who is Liable?

Posted By The McClellan Law Firm || Sep 30, 2014

It's easy to point fingers after a car accident, but legal liability isn't always as simple as it seems. In many cases, one driver is injured and the other labeled "at fault" for the accident. But what happens if a passenger gets hurt? Passenger injuries present a unique set of questions about liability, namely, "Who should the passenger sue for damages?" The answer to this question depends on the facts of the case.

Common situations include:

  • A single-car accident, where the driver is responsible
  • Multi-car accidents, where one or both drivers are at fault
  • Multi- or single-car accidents, where the manufacturer / government is liable

Most accidents involve at least two cars, and determining which driver caused the incident determines liability for any damages. If you are injured as a vehicle passenger, though, you can file suit against both parties. With the help of an attorney, you can determine which option is best for your individual case.

Manufacturing and Road Design Errors

Other potential defendants in a passenger injury lawsuit include auto manufacturers and local government agencies. Product defects or poorly maintained roadways cause many single-car accidents. If the vehicle manufacturer failed to create a safe product, victims of an accident caused by the defect can seek financial compensation, even if they are passengers.

Similarly, local government agencies may be responsible for passenger injuries. While weather conditions and unavoidable circumstances may cause some car wrecks, others are the result of dangerous road designs, road defects, and old roadways. The city (or other local governing authority) is responsible to provide safely designed roads and maintain reliable road conditions. If you believe that a defective or dangerous road caused your accident, you can seek compensation from the city, etc.

To learn more about car accident liability and your rights, speak with an attorney from The McClellan Law Firm to discuss the details of your case.

Blog Home


  • “I just wanted to thank you for your efforts on [Pam’s] behalf, your skills, and your heart. You are not just a lawyer in what you do, you are a master of your profession. And I hope you are passing your mastery to others who may stand in on behalf of the weak or the helpless. It is an honorable effort and a world of mercy. I saw the extreme and extended dedication you put forth yield the best possible results on [Pam’s] behalf.”

    - Juror

  • “Immediately after our interview we knew without question that no matter how steep the mountain, win or lose, we had found the right person—Craig McClellan, Esq.—[…] We felt a profound sense of peacefulness whenever we came into the office, and we knew that you were protecting our interests at all time.”

    - G.P.

  • “We wouldn’t be here, in this moment of life without the kindness and professionalism of you all and how you went to bat for us! Eternally grateful!”

    - A.K.

  • “Having had the high privilege of presiding over a number of cases involving national counsel, I want you to know you’re one of the very best [...]. You and those with you were outstanding ambassadors for our profession and once again made me most proud to be a part of our legal community.”

  • “It was a real honor to preside over a case with you as counsel. In my mind you represent all that is good in our profession.”

    - Judge J.

View More

Our Awards & Accolades