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Car Accidents and Passenger Injuries: Who is Liable?

The McClellan Law Firm

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.