Car Accidents

Can an injured passenger sue both drivers in an accident?

By March 25, 2020 No Comments

Getting into a serious accident can damage far more than just your car. Human negligence can lead to all sorts of consequences on your physical and emotional health, as well as severe damage to your bank account in the loss of wages and payment of medical bills.

But what if you were just a passenger in an accident? Do you have the right to sue either of the drivers? Or both of them?

Personal Injury and Car Accidents: The Basics

First things first – if you are the victim of a car accident in which you were not driving, be sure to do these important things:

  • Take notes and photos of the scene and any perceivable injuries you have
  • Obtain contact information from witnesses
  • Don’t admit any fault or answer calls from the other driver’s insurance company
  • Keep track of lost wages and medical bills
  • Visit a doctor and all recommended check-ups
  • Hire a lawyer

If you decide you want to sue someone for damages in a car accident – whatever your role may be – you need to hire a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer provides legal representation to people injured in an accident, whether that accident be a car crash, medical malpractice, or a workplace injury.

So to answer the question whether you, as the passenger, can sue one or both of the drivers in an accident where you were injured – yes, you can bring claims against both drivers if you so choose

In fact, as a passenger you can sue anyone who caused the car accident in any way, including all other drivers and others responsible for causing an accident.

Responsibility and fault

When you’re trying to decide who to sue for your injuries in an accident, it’s time to consult your personal injury attorney. Your lawyer can help you investigate the crash and decide who to bring claims against for the accident. But there are some different factors to consider in Texas and New Mexico law that deal with fault.

Partial Fault

When you’re trying to decide who to sue for your injuries in an accident, it’s time to consult your personal injury attorney. Your lawyer can help you investigate the crash and decide who to bring claims against for the accident. But there are some different factors to consider in Texas and New Mexico law that deal with fault.

But what if YOU are found partially at fault?

Even if you are found by the court to be partially at fault for the accident, you can still recover the other driver’s percentage of liability. 

For example, if you are found to be 20% at fault and the other driver is found 80% at fault, and the jury returns a $10,000 verdict, then you can recover 80% or $8,000 of the jury award from the other driver.  

According to Texas law, however, you cannot recover anything if you are found to be more than 50% liable for causing the accident. So if the jury found you 60% at fault and the other driver was found 40% at fault, you are barred from recovering anything from the other driver.  

But New Mexico follows a more lenient “pure comparative negligence” law, meaning that you can recover the other driver’s percentage of fault even if you were primarily responsible for causing the accident.

What if your family member is at fault?

If the person driving when your accident occurred is a family member (parent, husband, wife, etc.), the law says that you can still bring claims against them for negligently causing an accident. 

Surprisingly, this scenario is actually more common than you think. Children are often injured because of the negligence of a parent driver. The injured child can bring claims against the parent because there is no parental immunity in Texas or New Mexico.  

These types of scenarios rarely lead to an actual lawsuit against the family member, however. Most of the time, the insurance company for the at-fault family member pays to settle the injured family member’s claim.

Contact an El Paso personal injury lawyer today

If you have been the victim of a car accident in which you were not driving and sustained injuries due to this accident, get in touch with a personal injury lawyer today. At the Harmonson Law Firm, we’ve helped over 1,000 clients recover more than $25,000,000 in personal injury damages for various cases. Let us help you win the compensation you deserve so that you can move forward with your life.

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