Car Accident Damages: Recovering as a Passenger

Written by Jeremy D. Earle, JD

May 24, 2023

Attorneys for Car Accident Passengers

Following an car collision, most people’s thoughts turn to the drivers of the cars. In actuality, everyone in a car is at risk of being injured. Depending on the moment of contact, it’s not uncommon for a passenger to have more severe injuries than the driver.

After a car accident, many passengers are hesitant to investigate their possibilities. You would have rights even if you were riding in a friend’s or family member’s car while they were negligent and caused an accident.

Read on to learn about the dangers that car accidents offer to passengers, as well as the damages that we can help them recover from.


The severity of a passenger’s injuries is determined by several variables, including the force of the accident, the location of the hit, whether or not the passenger was wearing a seat belt, and whether or not the car’s other safety measures were functioning correctly.

Following an car collision, the following injuries are common:

BRAIN DAMAGE: Many passengers in car accidents hit their heads on harsh surfaces such as the dashboard or a glass. Traumatic brain damage is one probable outcome of this collision (TBI). A traumatic brain injury (TBI) may cause irreparable brain damage that affects normal brain function. Victims are often left with physical or cognitive problems and being in a coma or vegetative state.

HEAD INJURIES: A TBI is not the only possibility if your head collides with any component of the car. A passenger might get a concussion, a skull fracture, or head lacerations that need stitches. When the person is wearing a seatbelt, the chances of sustaining a head injury are reduced.

SPINAL CORD INJURIES: The spinal cord is a vital bundle of nerves that connects the brain to the rest of the body. Any spinal cord injury can potentially change the afflicted passenger’s life permanently. The person may have symptoms ranging from numbness to muscular weakness to paralysis if the spinal


cord is cut or broken. Specific physiological processes may become uncontrollable for the sufferer.

NECK AND BACK INJURIES: In a car collision, the body’s trunk generally receives a hammering, resulting in neck and back injuries. You may have heard of “whiplash,” but these types of damages can leave victims in excruciating pain for the rest of their lives, necessitating extensive physical therapy or rehabilitation. Victims may not be able to resume activities that they previously liked.

INTERNAL INJURIES: Any blow or impact to the body can cause internal organ damage, such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, and liver. Internal organ damage is hazardous, but it’s also challenging to detect. Depending on which organ was injured, the symptoms will vary.

BROKEN BONES AND FRACTURES: Some broken bones heal quickly, but others have long-term consequences. Surgery and long-term rehabilitation may be required for broken bones.

DENTAL AND FACIAL INJURIES: During an accident, a passenger’s face may collide with a hard surface, such as the dashboard or a window. Any blow to the face can injure the bones and teeth of the face. Cracked or chipped teeth, as well as jaw injuries, are common injuries. A victim may also need facial reconstruction surgery, depending on the degree of the injury.

SPRAINS, BRUISES, AND CUTS: Even though they seem to be less severe, these injuries may have a significant impact on your life. Cuts may get infected, and sprains can restrict your range of motion and make it difficult to accomplish daily duties. You may be unable to finish your chores if you work in a physically demanding profession requiring regular manual labor.

After a car accident, passengers are often forced to cope with severe and life-altering injuries. You are entitled to a complete recovery and compensation for your injuries!


It’s simple: any careless person who caused an accident is liable for any passenger injuries that resulted.

Passengers are seldom held liable for accidents since they were not engaged in driving either car. The following individuals or entities may be held responsible:

DRIVERS: The drivers of each car involved in the accident, including the driver of the car in which you were riding, are the first place to seek probable blame and liability. Drivers are accountable for not engaging in reckless


behavior that might injure their passengers or other motorists. Negligence is defined as any carelessness or failure to use reasonable caution. The most obvious proof is conduct that violates any traffic rule or regulation, such as speeding, failing to obey traffic signals, driving while intoxicated, or driving while distracted.

CAR MANUFACTURER: If you were injured or killed due to a defective car component or car malfunction, the firm that produced the problem will be held accountable. Car makers are expected to thoroughly test and assure the proper operation of their equipment. Even if the defect did not cause the accident, it might have played a role in your injuries. For example, if an airbag fails to deploy following a collision, a passenger may suffer more catastrophic injuries.

MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT: The maintenance of the roads and the proper operation of traffic lights are the responsibility of your local government. If a government agency failed to fulfill these obligations and caused the accident, that entity is held accountable. It may be difficult to recover from a government body due to legislative safeguards and lengthy procedure requirements, but an expert car accident attorney can assist.

You’ll almost certainly be dealing with the at-fault party’s insurance carrier, regardless of who is to blame. You’ll need to file a third-party injury claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company once you’ve established liability. Because you may need to file a claim with multiple insurance companies, it’s essential to discuss this process with your lawyer. Many people expect this process to be difficult and frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be with the help of a personal injury lawyer on your side.


Following a car accident, everyone reacts differently. It’s normal for passengers to just count their blessings and “check out” the situation. You may be tempted to take a step back and let the driver take the wheel, allowing them to deal with the damage to their car and any insurance difficulties.

However, if you were hurt in the collision, you must carefully record the accident. This evidence will determine your healing.

Your compensation claim is unlikely to be approved automatically by the insurance company. Instead, they’ll need convincing proof that the policy’s insured driver was at fault.

Following an accident, the most vital thing is to seek medical attention. After you’ve determined that your injuries are manageable, be sure to file a police complaint. The police report is necessary to evidence because it will chronicle the location of the collision, gather witness accounts and information, and identify any tickets given to


drivers for breaking traffic regulations. If the drivers are worried about their guilt, they may hesitate to summon the cops. Even if they’re friends, you should notify the cops to ensure that all evidence is appropriately obtained and recorded.

Ensure you maintain track of any documentation related to the accident and your medical treatment after the event. As you engage with your lawyer, these papers will help you grasp the nature of your losses.


If your buddy was driving at the accident, don’t feel like you’re “attacking” them if you decide to pursue compensation. All injuries you sustained in the collision are the defendant’s fault – and their insurance carrier!

The most visible expenditures are those related to your injuries, but a car accident often has a domino effect that disrupts many aspects of a victim’s life. The amount an injured passenger may receive is determined by the severity of their injuries and suffering, as well as the strength of the defendant’s proof.

Make sure nothing falls between the gaps. Work closely with your attorney to assess all of your losses, which may include the following:

MEDICAL COSTS: Include all medical expenses, such as doctor’s visits, hospital stays, prescription medication, and emergency transportation. Suppose your injuries need long-term treatment, such as physical therapy or an in-home nurse. In that case, your injury lawyer may confer with medical professionals to estimate future costs and include them in your claim.

PAY LOST OR DECREASED: Many injuries necessitate the sufferer missing work, working a restricted schedule, or doing lesser tasks, resulting in lost or reduced wages. These losses are the defendant’s and their insurance provider’s responsibility. If your injuries prevent you from working at the same level as previously, talk to your lawyer about the prospect of recovering lost future earnings potential. These damages may be calculated with the aid of an economist.

PROPERTY DAMAGE: This category includes more than simply car repair. The defendant is liable for repairing or replacing any personal property damaged in the accident.

EMOTIONAL DISTRESS: Being involved in a car accident is a painful experience. Many accident victims experience mental discomfort, such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), due to the event’s


trauma or the injuries’ disturbance. You are entitled to remuneration for your suffering.

LOSS OF ENJOYMENT: Many injuries impair an injured person’s ability to participate in activities that were formerly a significant part of their life. If your injuries prevent you from participating in a favorite activity, be honest and include this loss of pleasure in your damages claim.

PUNITIVE/EXEMPLARY DAMAGES: Plaintiffs are not compensated for their injuries when they get punitive damages. On the other hand, punitive damages are a monetary way of penalizing offenders for deplorable actions. The criteria for collecting punitive damages vary by state, and many jurisdictions limit the number of punitive damages that a jury may award.

After your accident, make sure you don’t do anything that might jeopardize your recovery. Posting on social media is a regular blunder. Insurance companies will probe for every shred of evidence that they may use to refute your claims, which may surprise you.

CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING SITUATION: You were involved in an car accident and seek compensation for your incapacity to do your work, which requires you to stand for long periods. You then take a selfie of yourself with concert tickets and caption it, “Stood in line for these for hours!” While there may be a legitimate explanation (maybe you sat down in line, or someone took your seat), the defendant will try to use these postings against you by claiming you are exaggerating your injuries.

The safest course of action is to refrain from publishing on social media until your case is resolved. During the discovery portion of the lawsuit, the defendant may seek copies of your social media accounts, even if they are private.

Also, don’t be shocked if the defendant’s insurance company contacts you early in the process with a settlement offer. When you’re dealing with bills and injuries, it might be tempting to accept an early settlement offer to end the situation fast and have money in your pocket. Unfortunately, most early settlement offers to undercompensate the plaintiff greatly. An attorney can assist you in weighing the offer against the entire extent of your injuries as well as the weight of the evidence against the defendant. We know what you’re entitled to, and we’ll fight for it.


More than 2.3 million people visit the emergency department every year due to car accidents. In the United States, there were 36,120 deaths in motor car accidents last year. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, approximately 70% of motor car collision deaths occurred in passengers, not drivers, during five years.


Children are an especially susceptible category of travelers. In the most recent year for which data is available, 675 children under 12 were killed in car accidents in the United States, with 116,000 more wounded. Motor car accidents are the most significant cause of mortality among children, with three children dying in traffic accidents every day in the United States.

These sobering statistics show that passengers are just as vulnerable to injure as drivers and that passenger injury may be more severe and painful.


You are contacting an expert attorney as soon as possible after the accident is one of the most important things you can do to maximize your ultimate settlement. Look for a legal company that puts the client first, one that realizes that each client’s situation and aspirations are unique.

You need a workforce that prioritizes communication and is dedicated to immediately responding to each email or phone contact. You deserve a legal firm that has the information, resources, and experience to handle your car accident case, as well as the testimonials to back it up.

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