Serving Justice

Passengers’ Rights in a Texas Car Accident

February 10, 2023Car Accidents

When a passenger is injured in a Texas car accident, they have the right to recover compensation for their injuries and other losses. Whether that is by filing an insurance claim or calling a personal injury attorney for an injury lawsuit.

Options for Compensation for Injured Passengers in Texas

There are typically several options for passengers to recover compensation after a crash. Those include the following:

The Other Driver’s Insurer

A claim can be filed with the auto insurer of the driver of another vehicle that was at fault for the accident. In Texas, drivers are required to carry minimum amounts of liability insurance to pay for the injuries and damage they cause. As a result, if the driver carries auto insurance, they will have at least $30,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, $60,000 in bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 in property damage. However, you may have to share the policy’s coverage amounts with the driver of your vehicle and any other parties involved. If the at-fault driver’s policy limits do not fully pay for a passenger’s accident expenses, such as medical bills and lost income, they may be able to also file a claim under the policy belonging to the driver of their vehicle to pay the difference. 

The Insurer of the Passenger’s Driver

Regardless of whether the driver of a passenger’s vehicle was at fault, they may be able to file a claim under their insurance policy. The driver’s liability coverage should apply to passengers. However, passengers often feel uncomfortable doing so if the driver is a friend or family member. It is important to remember that the friend or family member does not have to be involved in the process, and the passenger can deal with the insurer directly. 

The Passenger’s Auto Insurance or Health Insurance

An alternative option a passenger has is to file a claim under their own auto insurance policy if they carry MedPay or personal injury protection (PIP). Additionally, if either driver was not insured, they might be able to file a claim under their uninsured motorist policy if they carry that coverage. Lastly, a passenger’s personal health insurance can typically be used to cover all or part of their medical bills, but depending on the plan, all auto benefits may need to be exhausted first.

Personal Injury Lawsuit

If a passenger cannot agree to a settlement offered by the insurance companies or there is not enough coverage to fully pay for losses, they have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit. 

What a Passenger Should Do Immediately After an Accident 

Injured passengers should take the following critical steps after a car accident:

  • Call 911 if anyone needs immediate medical assistance. 
  • Still notify the police if no one needs an ambulance. A police report can be important evidence of fault when it comes time to file an insurance claim. 
  • Take photos & videos for evidence. 
  • Ask all parties involved for their contact and insurance information. If there are witnesses, ask how to get in contact with them as well.
  • Seek medical care as soon as possible after leaving the scene and continue any ongoing treatment your doctor recommends. 

Lastly, speak to a Houston Car Accident Lawyer for legal counsel regarding your options for obtaining compensation for your injuries.