blog home Car Accidents What if You’re Injured in Your Friend’s Car?

What if You’re Injured in Your Friend’s Car?

By Hess & Nghiem on October 15, 2023

As a passenger in a car accident in California, you may be wondering about your rights and compensation. At HN Injury Lawyers, we understand the complexities of being involved in a car accident as a passenger in a friend’s vehicle. You may feel you don’t want to jeopardize the friendship. However, if you have suffered injuries, you need help. We have helped countless clients with this problem effectively and without any issues.

When involved in a car accident where the driver is your friend, it’s essential to understand that any legal action will be pursued against their insurance company rather than them directly. If claims are filed, they’re directed against the policy covering your friend’s vehicle. This system protects individuals from financial losses while providing injured parties with the compensation necessary.

Your Rights as a Passenger in California

In the State of California, you have the right to be compensated for medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and possibly more if you have been injured due to another’s negligence in a car accident. This right is upheld no matter who the driver is and no matter whose car you were in (the at-fault driver or other driver(s) involved).

In California, passengers are generally covered by their driver’s auto insurance. If a driver is “at fault,” their car insurance should cover any resulting harm or damages up to their policy limits; additionally, medical payments coverage provides extra assistance by covering medical bills related to any injuries sustained in the accident.

Proceedings Based on Fault

The legal process that follows the accident will vary based on whether your friend was the driver at fault. If your friend was the driver that caused the accident, a claim can be filed against their insurance provider to cover any damages you may have suffered because of the accident.

If the other driver was at fault, making a claim against their insurance will involve filing a suit to recover the compensation you are due for your damages. In some cases, you may be able to file a claim with your friend’s insurance company. You will need to ensure all your losses are addressed. In some cases, your insurance can be contacted to compensate for a portion of your injuries or damages. An experienced attorney can help you to understand the best course of action for your specific circumstances.

If the drivers disagree on who was at fault for the accident, insurance company lawyers will have to intervene, and the proceedings may escalate into a more complex procedure, including litigation to resolve any disputes. When you are facing this situation, the quality and experience of your injury lawyer are of utmost importance.

Compensation and Legal Proceedings

Compensation can include many damages related to an accident. These may include:

  • Medical expenses incurred because of the accident
  • Lost wages if you have been unable to work due to your injuries
  • Pain and suffering for the emotional strain related to the accident

Legal proceedings to claim compensation depend on the specifics of your case but will typically start by filing claims with insurance providers and then engaging in negotiations to reach an equitable settlement. Should this fail, litigation may become necessary. During any stage of this process, a skilled attorney can help tremendously, and you are more likely to recover far more compensation by working with an attorney than without.

Standing by Your Side After a Car Accident

At HN Injury Lawyers, we understand that car accidents can be tremendously challenging and that their emotional and physical toll can be severe. That’s why our Santa Ana attorneys ensure our clients are fully up to date and understand every phase of the legal journey they begin with us.

At our California firm, we offer free consultations to assess your case and figure out potential next steps. Our contingency fee arrangement ensures you only pay when we win your case, giving you the security needed to get through through this challenging period.

We understand the complexities of being involved in an accident with your friend as the driver and can manage these types of delicate cases with tact. Call us at (657) 333-5726 so that we can assist you by seeking compensation on your behalf.

Posted in: Car Accidents