Drivers are not the only people who can get injured in a car crash. If you’re a passenger in an accident in Tampa, Florida, you may be wondering what your rights are. Passengers generally have the same rights as a driver to file a claim for injuries.
That means in Florida, an injured passenger can file a claim against your driver or the at-fault driver’s PIP. A Tampa passenger injury attorney can guide you if you find yourself injured as a passenger. They will help you make informed decisions if you find yourself in this situation.
Florida Passenger Injury Facts
Getting injured as a passenger can be especially frustrating because you had no way to control what happened. You entrusted the drivers to keep you safe, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. Sadly passengers in Florida become injury victims every day.
For instance, in 2021, there were 64,808 passenger injuries in Florida and 574 fatalities; that’s over one passenger fatality per day. It’s normal to feel angry and duped after getting injured as a passenger. And, you might be wondering who you can hold accountable for your injuries.
In Florida, the driver of the vehicle is usually responsible for passenger injuries, but that’s not a one-size-fits-all rule. It will depend on the specific circumstances of your accident. Speaking of responsibility, the driver at fault in an accident is not the only potential liable party. Depending on the situation, the owner of the vehicle and the manufacturer of the car may be held responsible. For example, if a defective tire caused the car to veer off the road and crash, that might be a case of manufacturer liability.
Passenger injuries can range from minor to serious, or even fatal. Most commonly, injuries are cuts and bruises but can escalate to broken bones and spinal cord injuries. Passengers should not try to self-diagnose or bypass professional medical attention. Rather, they should get a medical professional to assess your injuries and determine the best course of treatment.
The most common type of injury that passengers experience during car accidents is whiplash. Whiplash is an incredibly painful neck injury that can cause long-term damage if not treated right away. Other common passenger injuries include broken bones, head and neck trauma, and psychological trauma such as PTSD. The emotional effects of accident trauma could take much longer than the physical injuries to recovery form. Sadly, not all passengers will be able to get up and walk away from an accident; severe collisions can cause catastrophic injuries or even death.
The consequences for passenger injuries can have a toll on the victim far beyond physical pain and discomfort. They might aso face financial burdens from accident injuries. And the cost of medical bills, time off of work, and other damages can add up quickly and become overwhelming. That’s why it’s important to have a Tampa passenger injury attorney on your side to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
What Are The Laws In Tampa Regarding Passenger Injury?
Being a passenger in a car accident can be a terrifying experience. Most people don’t get into a car thinking “this might be my last car ride,” or “I hope I don’t get injured too badly.” They simply think about getting to their destinations. That’s why the aftermath can be so overwhelming. The accident, the injuries, and all the associated damages come as a complete shock without any expectation. But, knowing the laws in your state regarding passenger injury can help you feel empowered and make informed decisions regarding your legal rights.
Florida law states that the driver who caused the accident is typically responsible for any injury sustained by the passenger. The law also has protections for injured passengers. One of these protections is the requirement for all drivers to carry insurance coverage in the event of an accident. This provides financial protection for any injured person, as well as the family of the injured person. However, if the driver doesn’t have enough insurance coverage to cover your medical costs, you may need to look elsewhere.
Victims of passenger injuries in Florida are also entitled to medical expenses and lost wages. Additionally, if a driver was found guilty of DUI or reckless driving, the driver might face criminal charges. However, those charges would be tried separately in criminal court. For passenger injury claims, your attorney will advise you on the process for filing a civil suit against the at-fault driver.
Are There Any Circumstances Where the Passenger Can Be Liable for Their Injuries?
There are rare circumstances where a passenger can be held liable and not receive compensation. For example, if the passenger was engaged in some sort of criminal activity, or they were reckless and somehow caused the accident, they can be found liable.
To prove that an injury was due to a car accident, you must provide medical records and police reports, along with additional evidence. It’s important to know that Florida’s statute of limitations is four years for filing an injury claim.
Who Is Typically Liable for Passenger Injuries in a Tampa Car Accident?
In Tampa and other busy cities, car accidents are a major cause of passenger injury. According to statistics, passengers account for more than half of all car accident casualties in Florida. The unfortunate truth is that passengers are often the most vulnerable in a car accident and often suffer serious injuries.
In most cases, the driver of the car is responsible for passenger injuries in a car accident. So, If the driver who was operating the vehicle you were in was at fault, the driver can be held financially responsible for the passenger’s injuries. However, in some cases, a third party may be liable for the damages as well. It could be another driver, vehicle manufacturer, or government entity. You’ll need an experienced Tampa passenger injury attorney to review your case and help you determine who is liable.
The Role of Personal Injury Protection for Injured Passengers in Tampa
All Florida drivers must carry PIP insurance (Personal Injury Protection Insurance) in order to legally drive. In the event of a crash, PIP will cover medical and related expenses, such as lost wages, among other costs.
However, PIP insurance doesn’t cover 100% of damages, which can leave an injured passenger at a loss when it comes to damage compensation. That is, PIP only covers up to a certain amount of damages. For example, let’s say the at-fault driver’s insurance covers 80% of driver and passenger medical expenses. If insurance only pays up to $10,000 of medical expenses and up to a maximum of $2,500 for lost wages, and your damages exceed that amount, you can’t rely on insurance alone to cover all your expenses.
Bottom line, PIP will most likely only cover only a portion of your accident damages.
What To Do If You’re A Passenger In A Tampa Car Accident
The first thing you want to do after an accident is check to make sure you’re not seriously injured. Even if you think your injuries are mild, get medical help as soon as you can. You might need to stay on the accident scene to first handle necessary procedures with law enforcement officers, such as giving a statement for the official police report. If you feel excruciating pain or think your injuries are serious, get emergency medical care.
While it may be hard to remember this in the heat of the moment, you need to document all of the facts of the accident. Doing so can help support your case when filing a claim against the liable party.
After your health has been taken care of, an experienced Tampa passenger injury attorney can help you. Your lawyer will file a claim to receive compensation for your medical bills, time off work, and other damages suffered.
Why You Need An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney On Your Side
Car accidents are a tragic reality in Florida, and passenger injury is a major issue. It’s important to be aware of the legal aspects of passenger injury and make sure you’re informed about your rights. Knowing the facts and understanding the laws surrounding passenger injury in Florida can help ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Unquestionably, depending on the accident, it can be difficult to determine who is responsible for the injuries suffered by the passenger. In Florida, laws exist to help determine who is liable for passenger injury. The state’s comparative negligence rule states that two parties can be at fault. In this case, a Tampa passenger injury attorney can help you to collect compensation from both drivers.
Additionally, this law states that a passenger can still receive compensation even if they were partly or substantially at fault. However, these laws can be complicated. It’s important to seek legal advice if you have been injured as a passenger in a car accident.
Being an injured passenger in an accident should not discourage you from seeking rightful compensation for your injuries. Having a knowledgeable Tampa passenger injury attorney on your side can make all the difference. Their expertise can help you navigate the confusing details and get you the full compensation you deserve.
Contact Us Today For A Free Consultation
Our Tampa passenger injury attorneys have the experience to help you make sure you get the recovery you deserve. The solid reputation we have is a result of our dedication to providing clients with the best legal representation and advice.
We are committed to helping individuals suffering from physical and psychological injuries due to another person’s negligence. And we know how troubling an accident can be – it can turn your life upside down. That’s why we are here to help you get your back on track and get the compensation you deserve. It won’t make your injuries go away, but it will help you recover financially and get the treatment you need. If you were injured as a passenger in Tampa, Florida, contact a Tampa passenger injury attorney today to see how we can help.