Passengers can cause car accidents in Georgia but they are very rarely found to be at fault.
A driver or the driver of another vehicle usually causes passenger injuries. A passenger can at fault in unusual circumstances. For instance, he or she may have grabbed the steering wheel or started a physical fight with a driver that caused a crash.
Usually, passengers who are hurt in crashes can make a claim against the driver who caused the wreck.
However, certain actions by passengers may reduce their eventual payout in a car accident settlement. Georgia is a comparative negligence state. Unlike pure contributory negligence states, being just 1 percent responsible for your injuries won’t leave you unable to make a recovery.
However, certain actions or omissions affect passenger claims. Drivers and front seat passengers must wear seatbelts in Georgia. If you failed to wear a seatbelt as a front seat passenger, and the driver crashed the case, his insurance company may claim the passenger contributed to the severity of his injuries.
Passengers may contribute to their injuries in other ways. For instance, a passenger who gets into a car with a drunk driver, ignoring the signs of intoxication may face obstacles in a personal injury lawsuit.
Georgia is one of 12 states that has a 50 percent bar rule. This means if the accident was 50 percent or more your fault, you cannot make a claim against the other driver’s insurance policy.
Passengers will seldom be judged 50 percent or more responsible for their accident.
Passengers in Georgia Wrecks May Hold Back on Claims
However, passengers may be reticent to make a claim against a driver who is a friend or a family member. This is a mistake. People injured in car wrecks should maximize as much insurance coverage as possible to cover their medical bills and pain and suffering.
As many as one-in-five fatal car accidents are single-vehicle crashes or run-off-the-road crashes. Rollover accidents are the most serious types of crashes on our roads. More than 8,000 people are killed in single-vehicle rollover crashes in the United States each year.
Many of the victims are passengers. Common causes of single-vehicle crashes are speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving, and drowsiness. In all cases, an injured passenger has grounds to sue a driver.
If you or a family member has been injured as a passenger in a Georgia car wreck, please call the Law Office of Michael West at (404) 913-1529.