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Passenger’s Personal Injury Rights in an Arizona Crash

January 28, 2021 By John Torgenson

Being a passenger in a vehicle can leave you feeling powerless. You cannot control the behavior of the driver, and you cannot react to the road around you. Ultimately, if a collision occurs, you might suffer injuries through no fault of your own. As a passenger, pursuing a personal injury claim can be extremely confusing especially when it comes to questions of liability and insurance. Fortunately, our local and trusted car accident lawyers have years of experience representing passengers injured in motor vehicle collisions. Today, we are here to answer your questions regarding passenger injuries.

As a passenger, who is legally liable for your injuries?

Assuming only one driver was at fault, you may pursue a third-party liability claim against the driver that negligently caused the crash. Of course, this could be the driver of the other vehicle or the driver of the vehicle you were riding in. At times, it can be awkward or uncomfortable to make a claim against “your driver,” particularly if you are friends with the individual responsible for your injuries. Nonetheless, when you are injured, you have the right to personal injury compensation against the driver who caused the crash even if you were sitting in the at-fault driver’s vehicle.

In addition, it is important to remember that Arizona is a comparative fault state. In other words, each at-fault individual is liable only for his or her percentage of the fault. So, if both drivers share blame for the crash, you can pursue your injury claim from each of them, as they are each responsible for a percentage of your total damages.

Does uninsured (UM) or underinsured (UIM) motorist coverage apply to passengers?

Absolutely! UM and UIM coverage applies when the at-fault driver has insufficient liability insurance to compensate you for the full extent of your damages. For example, let’s say you are riding in your friend’s vehicle when a negligent underinsured third-party runs a red light and causes your personal injuries. Generally, all UM and UIM policies provide coverage for passengers of one’s vehicle. This means that your friend’s UM and UIM policy will likely apply to your injury case.

In the example above, let’s say your friend did not have UM or UIM coverage. Does that mean you have no avenue of recovery? NO! Your own personal UM and UIM coverage would apply under these circumstances as well. In all personal injury cases, it is crucial to leave no stone unturned. Your Phoenix injury lawyers are here to help.

If you are a passenger involved in a motor vehicle collision, you have a right to personal injury compensation. Passenger claims can involve intricate liability and insurance questions, so it is important for you to employ aggressive personal injury lawyers that will fight for the compensation you deserve. Give us a call today at (602) 726-0747.

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John Torgenson

John Torgenson is a highly experienced personal injury lawyer with over 20 years of practice in Arizona. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah and his Juris Doctor from Notre Dame. John has a proven track record of securing substantial verdicts and settlements, including an $8.25 million recovery for a gunshot injury victim. His expertise has earned him AVVO ratings and recognition as a Super Lawyer.

John is also a sought-after lecturer on personal injury law, sharing his extensive knowledge with peers and aspiring attorneys. Beyond his legal practice, John is an avid golfer and actively supports organizations like the Military Assistance Mission, Arizona School for the Arts, Page Balloon Regatta, University of Arizona Foundation, Junior Achievement of Arizona, and the Tim Huff Pro Bono Golf Classic.

Passionate about advocating for injury victims, John dedicates his career to battling insurance companies and corporate interests, ensuring that the rights of those who are hurt are vigorously defended.