Can a Passenger Sue Both Drivers?

Can a Passenger sue both drivers?

Around six million motor vehicle accidents happen annually in the U.S., injuring approximately three million people and killing many more. The dense population combined with commuter and visitor totals increases the number of people traveling New York City’s roadways daily, making car accidents commonplace.

If you sustain injuries in a car accident caused by someone else, you deserve compensation, whether you are a driver, passenger or otherwise involved. Obtaining fair payouts is often challenging if you choose to handle your claim alone. Fortunately, a car accident lawyer from Cellino Law can help.

New York City Accident Statistics

The sheer number of motor vehicle collisions and the people affected in NYC every month may surprise you. These citywide statistics for October 2023 demonstrate:

  • Out of the 8,518 collisions, 3,723 produced injuries or fatalities.
  • These collisions involved 16,332 drivers, 1,499 passengers, 488 cyclists and 892 pedestrians.
  • 2,083 drivers, 1,496 passengers, 487 cyclists and 880 pedestrians sustained injuries.
  • These accidents killed 10 drivers, three passengers, one cyclist and 12 pedestrians.

The most common vehicles involved in these collisions were passenger vehicles, SUVs, large commercial vehicles, bicycles and motorcycles.

NYPD collision reports list the factors contributing to injury and fatal crashes. During the specified month, the leading factors were:

What do these causes have in common? They are all types of driver errors, making them preventable. Driver errors are negligent behavior, typically giving you grounds to seek compensation.

What Is Negligence?

As the basis for most personal injury and car accident claims, negligence is failing to provide the same care for other people’s safety that a reasonable person would in the same situation. To prove negligence, your car injury attorney will show that:

  • Someone owed you a duty of care.
  • That person (or party) failed to provide their duty of care.
  • The failure caused an accident.
  • You sustained injuries or other damages in that accident.

If you can prove negligence, you probably qualify to seek compensation through a personal injury claim.

What If More Than One Party Causes Your Accident?

More than one party shares the blame for causing many motor vehicle collisions. New York laws take this fact into consideration and allow injured accident victims to seek compensation from all at-fault parties. However, your degree of fault reduces the amounts you can receive.

Say that Leonard is 20% responsible for causing an accident. The same 20% reduces his compensation. This rule applies regardless of Leonard’s status (driver, etc.).

Can Anyone Besides Drivers Be Responsible for Car Accidents?

You don’t have to be driving to contribute to causing a collision:

  • Pedestrians or cyclists can dart into traffic flows.
  • Government agencies may fail to repair malfunctioning traffic signals.
  • Passengers might create significant distractions that divert a driver’s attention from traffic.
  • Various parties might be liable when commercial vehicles cause collisions.

Many collisions require thorough investigations to determine how and why they happened. Any negligent party may share the blame.

Can Passengers Seek Damages?

You may be eligible to seek compensation if you sustain injuries in a motor vehicle collision, whether as a driver, passenger, cyclist or pedestrian. Regardless of how many guilty drivers or parties share fault, you can seek damages from each.

Many passengers are somewhat reluctant to make claims against the driver of the car they were riding in. The harsh reality is that injured accident victims often face various injury-related expenses and other damages, and these bills won’t go away just because a friend was giving you a ride.

If a driver shares fault for causing a crash, they should also share the financial liabilities for everyone affected. Seeking compensation is not a personal insult; it is an economic necessity.

What About No-Fault Insurance?

In New York, licensed drivers should maintain personal injury protection insurance. These policies pay for specific accident-related expenses no matter who is at fault. PIP coverage applies to drivers and their passengers.

PIP policies should pay for medical expenses, a portion of lost wages, qualifying daily needs and death benefits. However, the coverage limits determine how much compensation is available. These policies do not provide non-economic damages and often don’t cover all accident-related economic damages.

What Should You Do After a Car Accident?

Passengers, like drivers, can do several things at the scene of a collision to protect their health and insurance claims for compensation.

  1. Render reasonable assistance: If your injuries permit, check on others involved in the collision.
  2. Contact the police: Even as a passenger, you will need an official record of your involvement in the crash.
  3. Gather evidence: Take photos or make videos of the entire accident site, including pertinent details like drivers and witnesses present, vehicle damage and placement, injuries, skid marks and any other evidence that may help investigators determine fault.
  4. Accept or seek medical treatment: Assessing your medical condition right after an accident can diagnose unseen health issues, but it also creates an official document describing your injuries. Your car crash lawyer will use this record as evidence in your personal injury claim.
  5. Speak to a qualified car injury attorney: Your rights as a passenger are sometimes confusing. When you contact a lawyer, we can assess the accident and then tell you if you have grounds for a claim and how we can assist you during the process.

How Much Is Your Case Worth?

Every accident is different. Your injuries and how they affect your life are unique. Because of this, there is no such thing as an average settlement amount. Your Cellino Law car accident lawyer knows how to calculate your damages accurately to ensure that you receive fair compensation.

Injuries sustained in car accidents may require multiple medical treatments. You probably won’t be able to work during your recovery, and you may need help to accomplish everyday tasks like buying groceries, cleaning your home or taking care of your children.

These costs add up during a time when you have no income coming in and can cause significant financial strain. Economic damages reimburse you for qualifying expenses that directly result from your accident.

In addition, car crash injuries can produce pain and suffering, permanent disabilities, PTSD and several other side effects that can cause you to lose your ability to enjoy life. Non-economic damages compensate for this type of condition.

Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t like paying claims. They often use underhanded tactics to avoid paying more than the bare minimum. When you hire Cellino Law, we will not let them take advantage of our clients.

Why Should You Choose a Car Accident Lawyer from Cellino Law?

While any attorney can technically handle a car accident claim, one who focuses on personal injury cases is much more likely to obtain a favorable outcome. Cellino Law has dealt with car accident claims and other personal injury claims since 1958. Our decades of experience means we know how to win cases. Let us put that knowledge to work for you.

If you need a car accident lawyer, contact Cellino Law today to request your free case review. Call us 24/7 at (888) 888-8888, reach out via live chat or use our online contact request form. You won’t pay us any fees unless we win compensation for you.



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  • We want to send a big "Thank you" from the both of us. We know you both fought for us and did a great job with our case. You did it in a timely manner and we appreciate it.

    Kerrijo & Jerry

  • Cellino Law was a great company to work with. From the beginning they came out and met with my uncle and myself and assured us that everything would be taken care of from beginning to end our lawyer state and constant contact with us to make sure that everything would go smoothly and it did. I would definitely recommend anybody to go to Cellino Law for whatever help they need. And specifically please ask for the lawyer that we had Mr. Alan Silverstein. He was amazing and his staff was always attentive. Please go with them for your next law needs.


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    Mrs Steward

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