Seeking Compensation for Injuries After an Accident May Be More Complicated Than You Think

In car accidents, drivers often believe they have the protection of a steering wheel and column to brace themselves against. Nothing could be further from the truth. Facial, wrist, foot neck and back injuries are all very common results of car accidents.

Passengers have even less protection—and often suffer more serious injuries from the significant forces that occur during a collision. A passenger can suffer injuries from being ejected through the windshield, crushed against the roof, slammed against the dashboard, or in a number of other ways.

Who Is Responsible for My Injuries?

When a driver is injured in an accident, he or she may or may not recover compensation for the injuries, depending upon whether or not the fault lies with the other driver. Passenger injury claims can be much more complex.

For example, a passenger may be forced to make a claim against the driver of the vehicle in which he or she was riding, even if it was the passenger's own spouse or child—requiring the sophistication of an experienced personal injury attorney.

In Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C., the at-fault driver is responsible for victim compensation. Thus, an injured passenger must make a claim against the at-fault driver, even if it is a close friend or relative. Occasionally, both drivers are at fault and the passenger may make a claim against both. This can be a complicated procedure.

If a passenger suffers injury or death, compensation may be sought from a number of sources, including:

  • Driver of the other vehicle (if he or she was the at-fault driver)
  • Driver/owner of the vehicle passenger was riding in (if that driver was at fault for the accident)
  • Drivers of both vehicles (if the cause of the accident is disputed)
  • Passenger's own motor vehicle or umbrella coverage (if no other coverage is available from other sources or if the available coverage of the responsible parties is inadequate such as in the case of uninsured or underinsured motorists)

What About the Insurance Companies for the Drivers?

Most victims are surprised to learn that the injury claim is not against the insurance company of the at-fault driver. In Virginia, the victim's claim is almost always against the at-fault driver or drivers, not their insurers. The insurance company may ultimately be responsible, but it is the at-fault or negligent driver against whom the claim is made.

Protect Your Rights to Full Compensation...Call Us Today

Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi, PLLC, is an AV Peer Review Rated* law firm that is dedicated to meeting the needs of our clients. Our attorneys carefully review your situation and strategically build a case with the strongest chances of success. Our law firm is committed to recovering the full compensation clients need for lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering and other costs related to serious injuries or family losses.

Car accident victims and their families often have many questions when a wreck results in a severe passenger injury or even death. We provide caring guidance and aggressive legal representation to accident victims and their families throughout the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, including cities and counties throughout Northern Virginia. Contact KFFJ, PLLC for experienced advice about your passenger injury case. In personal injury cases, we represent clients on a contingency-fee basis. If there is no recovery for the client, there is no legal fee, but you are responsible for costs.


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​Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the Judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell Ratings fall into two categories - legal ability and general ethical standards.