Is A Drunk Driver Responsible for a Passenger’s Injuries?

Driver holding a beer while driving

Drunk driving accidents frequently leave innocent passengers with serious injuries. Because passengers are virtually never at fault in a crash, they should not have to worry about liability. However, that does not mean that pursuing the compensation they deserve will be as easy as it should be. 

Read on to learn more about pursuing the compensation you may be owed, and contact the Olson Personal Injury Lawyers, if you’ve been injured in a drunk driving accident in which you were a passenger.

What Happens to Passengers Injured in Drunk Driving Accidents?

Drunk driving accidents can leave passengers with serious injuries, including:

  • Head and neck injuries
  • Facial injuries and dental trauma
  • Back and shoulder injuries
  • Seatbelt and airbag injuries
  • Abdominal injuries and internal bleeding
  • Arm, elbow, wrist, and hand injuries
  • Dislocated or broken bones
  • Permanent scarring and disfigurement
  • Bruises, lacerations, and puncture wounds
  • Soft tissue strains, sprains, and tears
  • Leg, knee, ankle, and foot injuries
  • Road rash and other burns
  • Emotional and psychological injuries
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Amputation and loss of limb
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Spinal cord injuries (SCIs)
  • Partial or total paralysis

Can Passengers of Drunk Drivers Get Compensation in Crashes?

Passengers have a right to seek compensation for monetary losses, such as medical costs related to their injuries and lost wages if they cannot work, and personal losses, such as pain and suffering. That is true even if they were in the drunk driver’s vehicle. 

Insurance companies may attempt to minimize or deny a claim from a passenger who knew or should have known that the driver was impaired. An effective attorney will know how to deflect this argument and pursue the total compensation the passenger is entitled to.

Insurance Options for Passengers Hurt in Drunk Driving Crashes

Your options for filing insurance claims as a passenger injured in a drunk driving crash can vary depending on the circumstances:

  • If a drunk driver in another vehicle was at fault – In this case, you would file a claim with the drunk driver’s liability insurance policy.
  • If the driver of your vehicle was drunk and at fault – In this case, you could file a claim with the driver’s Medical Payments (MedPay) policy if they have it. If they do not, you may need to file a claim with your own health insurance provider or auto insurance provider, provided you have uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) insurance.
  • If both drivers were partially at fault – In this case, you could file claims against both drivers. If one of the drivers carries UM/UIM insurance, you could file a claim with one of these policies if there was not enough to cover your losses under other available policies. You may also be able to turn to your own UM/UIM policy for benefits.

Why You Need an Attorney Who Focuses on Drunk Driving Cases

One of the most challenging aspects of any car accident claim is identifying all possible sources of compensation. Many injured passengers accept settlements worth far less than they deserve simply because they don’t know what their case is worth. An attorney with dedicated experience focused on drunk driving accident cases can help you determine your options and maximize the value of your settlement.

Contact Our Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for a Free Claim Review

If you were injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, don’t hesitate to contact the legal team at the Olson Personal Injury Lawyers. Our attorneys can help you by answering your questions and evaluating your case for free in an initial consultation.

Author: Sean Olson

Sean Olson is much more than just a personal injury lawyer. Sean is an advocate who helps those who are injured navigate our complex legal system. And he is a voice for those who are injured and cannot speak for themselves.