Can Passengers Sue After a Car Accident?

man driving car

You were riding as the passenger in your friend or relative’s car when all of a sudden you’re involved in an accident that you believe your friend or relative may have caused. Understandably, you might hesitate to pursue legal action, especially if the driver is someone close to you. However, Florida law offers specific protections and avenues for passengers injured in vehicle accidents, ensuring they can seek compensation for their damages. Please continue reading and reach out to a dedicated Jacksonville personal injury lawyer from Ansbacher Law to learn how passengers can obtain compensation after a car accident.

What Rights Do Passengers Have in Florida?

Florida’s no-fault insurance system initially allows injured parties to file a claim under their personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, regardless of who caused the accident. Specifically, Florida Statutes §627.736 mandates that drivers carry PIP insurance, which covers medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses for the policyholder, relatives residing in the same household, individuals operating the insured vehicle, and passengers who lack PIP coverage. This provision ensures immediate coverage of expenses without the need to establish fault, a critical factor in the immediate aftermath of an accident.

Can You Sue the Driver or Another Party After a Car Accident?

While PIP coverage is beneficial, it may not fully compensate for severe injuries or other losses. In such cases, passengers have the right to pursue further legal action. Florida Statutes §627.737 outlines the conditions under which individuals can file a lawsuit outside the no-fault system. To sue for pain and suffering, permanent injury, significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement, or death, you must meet specific criteria, a threshold that often requires the assistance of a competent personal injury lawyer evaluate properly.

If your injuries surpass the PIP coverage limits or meet the criteria for serious injury, suing the driver or another at-fault party becomes a viable option. It’s essential to remember that taking legal action is not a betrayal but a necessary step towards ensuring your recovery and financial stability.

How Long Will an Injured Passenger Have to Sue?

In the state of Florida, accident victims are required to file their injury claims within two years of the date of their accident. Waiting longer than two years will most likely permanently bar them from suing. For this reason, after you receive medical treatment and are in stable condition, the most important thing you can do is reach out to a competent personal injury lawyer who can begin working on your case.

If you have further questions about passengers and car accident injuries in Florida or you are currently seeking financial compensation, please don’t hesitate to contact Ansbacher Law today.