How does a passenger in a car crash recover damages when the driver of the vehicle is found “at fault”?
Passenger claims carry a certain stigma because they are often cast as “suing” a person with a close relationship to the passenger, such as a husband or friend. This characterization is beneficial to insurers who would otherwise have to pay money out under the insurance policy. Mind you, this is a policy for which the driver is paying premiums month after month to protect themselves and their loved ones. This characterization is especially problematic in the unfortunate instance of a wrongful death case when the passenger’s injuries are fatal.
The basis of this misconception is rooted in the fact that a jury is never told whether a person has insurance. Therefore, if the case does not settle outside of court and proceeds to a lawsuit, the Defendant listed is the name of the driver or vehicle owner. Insurers are quick to remind injured parties of this fact. In the vast majority of cases, the reality is that you are “suing” the driver to seek fair compensation under an insurance policy and not against the individual’s personal assets.
Under New Hampshire law, passengers have the right to recover for, among other things, medical expenses, lost wages, physical pain and emotional distress. A strong advocate will go a long way toward avoiding common misconceptions and recovering fair compensation for an injured passenger.
By: Brenner G. Webb
To receive expert legal guidance on matters like this, contact the law office of Winer & Bennett, LLP at 603-882-5157. Visit www.winerbennett.com for more information.