Skip to content

How Much Money Can a Passenger in a Car Accident Get?

Michael Agruss

Written and Reviewed by Michael Agruss

  • Managing Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer at Mike Agruss Law.
  • Over 20 years of experience in Personal Injury.
  • Over 8000+ consumer rights cases settled.
  • Graduated from the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law: Juris Doctor, 2004.

Determining the financial compensation for a passenger involved in a car accident depends on several factors. Passengers may sustain injuries that vary in severity, and the financial settlements are influenced accordingly. Minor injuries might lead to smaller settlements that cover medical costs and related expenses. However, in the case of serious injuries, the compensation amount is typically higher to encompass medical bills, lost wages, and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. If you’re ready to seek compensation, a car accident lawyer from Mike Agruss Law is here to help you do so.

It’s crucial for passengers to understand that Illinois law entitles them to seek damages for the harm they’ve suffered due to a car accident. This right to compensation is grounded in the principle that any detriment caused by another’s negligence should be redressed. In practice, this could translate into various monetary amounts, reflecting the specific circumstances of each individual case.

Settlements can range widely, with the Insurance Information Institute reporting the average claim for bodily injury was $20,235 in 2020. However, for severe passenger injuries, settlements can be much larger, potentially reaching hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in the case of catastrophic injuries. Each case is unique, and thus compensation is determined on an individual basis.

Two Vehicles In A Car Crash

Determining Liability and the At-Fault Driver

In the event of a car accident, identifying the party at fault is crucial for financial recuperation by the injured passenger. Liability is typically determined through negligence laws, which ascribe legal responsibility to a person whose carelessness caused the accident.

A car accident lawyer from Mike Agruss Law will further explain that the factors in fault determination often include but are not limited to:

  • Traffic law violations
  • Driver statements
  • Witness testimonies
  • Accident reports
  • Physical evidence from the scene
  • Vehicle damage

The insurance company of the at-fault driver will usually be responsible for compensating damages. This can include medical expenses, lost wages due to injury, and possibly compensation for pain and suffering.

States with comparative negligence laws allow for damages to be distributed based on the degree of fault, which Illinois is. Even if a passenger’s driver was partially at fault, they may still obtain compensation from the other involved driver’s insurance policy, albeit reduced by their driver’s percentage of fault.

Determining fault can sometimes rely on the location of vehicle damage. For example, a rear-end collision often implies that the driver behind is at fault, while T-bone accidents could indicate failure to yield.

The injured passenger may file claims against multiple parties if more than one driver is at fault. They should remember, every state has specific regulations and standards for determining liability, which can influence the outcome of an insurance claim or lawsuit. Always consult a legal expert, like those at Mike Agruss Law, to better navigate these nuances.

Understanding Insurance Coverage in Car Accidents

When involved in a car accident, passengers may be entitled to financial compensation through various insurance coverages. Critical to this process are the roles of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and the astute navigation of insurance claims.

Role of Personal Injury Protection

Personal Injury Protection, commonly known as PIP, is a component of auto insurance that covers medical expenses regardless of who is at fault in an accident. In addition, PIP may cover other costs such as lost wages and funeral expenses. This coverage is mandatory in some states and optional in others, offering a layer of financial cushion to passengers after an accident.

Navigating Insurance Claims

Managing an insurance claim post-accident can be complex. Initially, a passenger would typically file a claim with the insurance company of the at-fault driver to cover damages like medical expenses. If the at-fault driver’s insurance isn’t sufficient, the passenger may seek coverage under the driver’s insurance of the vehicle in which they were traveling. Passengers can also tap into their own insurance coverage if additional compensation is needed to cover losses.

Legal Considerations for Passengers in a Car Accident

When a passenger is involved in a car accident, they have specific legal rights to compensation. Understanding these rights, and when to seek legal representation can make a significant difference in the outcome of their claim.

Passenger Rights

Passengers injured in a car accident have the right to file a claim for compensation. Under Illinois law, regardless of who is at fault, a passenger may seek damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering from the driver’s insurance company. It is important that passengers understand their entitlements, as well as the time limits for filing a claim. They are not responsible for the driver’s negligence and should therefore not hesitate to pursue their own interests.

Hiring a Car Accident Attorney From Mike Agruss Law

Obtaining legal representation from a car accident attorney can be crucial for a passenger. A qualified Chicago personal injury lawyer will ensure that the passenger’s rights are protected and can navigate the complexity of filing claims, especially when dealing with multiple parties, such as when both the driver and a third party may be at fault. An attorney from our personal injury law firm also understands the intricacies of negotiating with insurance companies to secure fair compensation for their clients. In Illinois, where specific statutes impact a passenger’s claim, having an attorney well-versed in state laws is particularly beneficial.

Calculating Compensation for Injuries Sustained in an Auto Accident

When determining compensation for car accident victims, the process involves a detailed assessment of both economic and non-economic damages incurred as a result of the accident. Two critical components of this calculation are medical expenses and compensatory damages.

Covering Medical Expenses

Car accident victims often face substantial medical bills for treatments necessary after an incident. Compensation for medical expenses includes, but is not limited to:

  • Emergency room fees
  • Hospital stays and surgeries
  • Costs of prescription medications
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation costs
  • Ongoing medical care and equipment

These expenses are calculated based on actual medical bills and the estimated cost of future care.

Compensatory Damages

Beyond medical costs, victims may be entitled to compensatory damages which include:

  • Lost wages due to time off work
  • Reduced earning capacity for the future
  • Pain and suffering or emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Compensatory damages are designed to address both the immediate and long-term financial and personal losses that result from the car accident.

Role of Personal Injury Attorneys in Maximizing Settlements

Our personal injury attorneys are pivotal in advocating for passengers involved in car accidents. With legal representation, passengers can see significant increases in settlement amounts, as attorneys leverage their expertise to navigate the complexities of personal injury law.

An Aurora personal injury lawyer will rigorously assess the impact of the accident on a client’s life. They factor in immediate and long-term medical expenses, loss of earnings, and pain and suffering to determine the compensation.

As well, they have honed negotiation skills that are vital during discussions with insurance companies, often leading to settlements that accurately reflect the damages.

Strategic Legal Actions:

Filing Lawsuits: When negotiations fail, attorneys are prepared to file lawsuits to secure fair compensation.

Legal Advocacy: They provide aggressive representation in court to obtain the settlements their clients deserve.

Our legal team also excels in documentation and evidence gathering, which are both crucial to making the insurance company pay. Attorneys compile comprehensive documentation and evidence to support the claim, such as medical reports, police records, and expert testimonies.

The legal expertise of a Naperville injury lawyer ensures that all potential avenues for compensation are explored. Personal injury attorneys analyze whether additional claims against other negligent parties can increase settlements.

Injured Passengers Should Reach Out to Mike Agruss Law

The personal injury attorneys at our law firm play a crucial role in maximizing settlements for passengers injured in car accidents. Everyone on our team brings a wealth of knowledge, negotiation acumen, and strategic litigation to the table, helping clients navigate the aftermath of an accident with confidence and clarity.

At Mike Agruss Law, we’re here to fight for your rights. We know that personal injury cases can be overwhelming and stressful, but we’re here to take that burden off your shoulders. Our team of professional and experienced lawyers will always put your needs first, prioritizing your case above all else. Contact us today and let us help you get the money you need to cover medical expenses, emotional trauma, and more.

Submitted Comments

No Comments submitted yet. Sharing your story will help others!

We are listening

We will respond to you at lightning speed. All of your information will be kept confidential.

Form successfully submitted!