Filing a Personal Injury Claim as a Passenger
When a motor vehicle accident occurs, passenger injuries are always a possibility. When a passenger is injured in a motor vehicle collision in Colorado, they can pursue claims against the driver of the vehicle they were riding in, the owner of the vehicle, or the driver of the other vehicle. Each accident is different, so it is crucial to go over your options with a Boulder personal injury lawyer who can review the facts of the case and help you identify the right course of action.
In Colorado, injured passengers have three years to file a personal injury claim before the statute of limitations expires. While this gives you time to pursue the right course of action, you won't want to delay the process because evidence goes stale and claims become harder to pursue the more time elapses.
Drivers Owe a Duty of Care to Passengers
Drivers owe a duty of reasonable care to their passengers. This means they have a responsibility to obey posted speed limits, not operate the vehicle in a reckless manner, not get distracted while driving, or otherwise take actions such as drinking and driving that would put a passenger at risk of injury. Colorado is an at-fault state and the driver who is found at fault for the accident is typically the one liable for the injuries their actions cause.
Passengers in a single-vehicle accident can pursue claims against the driver's insurance provider for medical expenses, lost wages, disfigurement, temporary/permanent disability, pain and suffering, etc. In a two vehicle accident where the other driver was at fault, claims can be filed against the other driver.
In cases where the driver is not the vehicle owner, the injured passenger can pursue claims against the vehicle's owner. Such instances might include a parent of a teenage driver who had borrowed their car, a car rental company, or the owner of the fleet vehicle.
Claims for passenger injuries can also be filed against their own insurance provider if the at-fault driver is underinsured or uninsured. However, there are exceptions to this, such as the individual is a spouse or family member that lives with the driver.
Contact Sloat, Nicholson and Hoover, P.C. at (303) 447-1144 for more information about filing a claim for passenger injuries. Our attorneys can help you pursue these types of 3rd party claims in Colorado.