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Virginia passenger injury lawyers

What happens if I was injured in a crash in Virginia, but I wasn’t the driver?

Being injured in a car or bus crash while riding as a passenger can be frustrating. First, you were not at fault for your injuries. Second, you are now faced with determining who is responsible. In other words, whose insurance company is going to pay for your injuries?

While you may have health insurance, you could still be stuck with high deductibles paid out of your own pocket, as well as costs that exceed your policy limits. And your healthcare plan is not going to compensate you for missed work, permanent injury that affects your career and free time, disfigurement, or many other losses and expenses that can follow a car crash.

Determining liability for a passenger’s injuries - and figuring out who will pay for whiplash and other accident injuries - can be complicated. That’s why it’s vital that, once you’ve gotten medical attention, you see an experienced passenger injury lawyer.

The legal team at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys cares about our community, and we work diligently to prevent injuries through community education. Our philosophy is that we would rather not have our neighbors as clients if we can prevent their injuries from ever happening.

But accidents do happen, unfortunately. When they do, we use our 75 years of combined experience, including working for big insurance companies and the federal government, to advocate for your rights. We are passionate about getting full compensation for injury victims and helping them get their lives back. Call our office today at (804) 203-0385 for a FREE consultation.

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The insurance adjuster is not your friend

Insurance adjusters are supposed to save their employers money. They do this by paying out the lowest amount possible on claims. Insurance adjusters often try to deflect blame away from their company’s clients and place it on others - to diminish liability and reduce the amount they pay. Insurance adjusters may even try to trick you into saying things that will damage your credibility so they can avoid having to pay you anything at all!

Passenger injury claims, especially those involving large insurance companies such as rideshare accidents, can be complicated. They often include multiple parties, each represented by a different lawyer. Insurance companies often try to get victims to accept a lowball offer by telling you it’s the best deal you are going to get.

The last thing an insurance wants you to do is talk to an experienced personal injury attorney. They realize that once you have someone on your side who knows all their tricks, they will have to make you a reasonable offer.

At GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys, we take on the big insurance companies every day, and we know how to get you the best possible settlement. After all, we’ve worked for big insurance companies, in big cities, and as trial lawyers. Now we are proud to serve our neighbors here in Eastern Virginia with our experience and expertise.

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What are some steps I can take to be a safer passenger?

We at GibsonSingleton work hard to prevent accidents from happening on Virginia roadways. With that in mind, here are some simple tips to follow if you are a passenger in a motor vehicle:

  • Wear your seat belt. So much has been written and said about the importance of wearing a seat belt. But just remember one simple fact: a seat belt increases your chance of surviving a wreck by almost 50 percent!
  • Encourage driver focus. Don’t distract the driver by engaging him or her in intense conversation. Keep the noise level in the car reasonable, so the driver can hear what’s going on outside.
  • Be a second pair of eyes, and let your driver know if a dangerous or tricky situation is coming up. In short, be a good partner!

For children, there’s a whole other set of rules to improve survival chances in a wreck. Safety seats are absolutely vital until the age and height/weight requirements are met for them to move to boosters, and then finally seat belts. Remember, all children under 12 should ride in the back seat! It’s sobering how often we see this simple rule violated, when having children riding in the "suicide seat" can be so devastating. In fact, we recommend having young people ride in the back seat until they’re 18.

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Who is liable for passenger injuries?

Several parties can be held liable for a passenger’s injuries in a motor vehicle accident.

First, the driver who caused the accident can be held responsible for a passenger’s injuries, whether that means the driver of the vehicle the passenger was riding in, or the driver of another vehicle. Many passengers are reluctant to file a claim against the driver of the vehicle they were riding in, because often they have a relationship with the driver. Remember, an injured passenger is really filing a claim against the driver’s insurance company. That’s what auto insurance is for. In the end, the passenger has medical bills that need to be paid.

Second, other parties that may be liable for passenger injuries include the manufacturer of the vehicle they were riding in (or another vehicle involved in the accident) if a vehicle defect caused the accident. The same goes for the manufacturer of a defective vehicle part (such as the tires, brakes, seat belts, airbags, etc.) if it caused or contributed to the collision and injuries.

Third, in some cases, the party responsible for designing and maintaining the road can be held liable, if that party’s negligence (not fixing a pothole, not salting an icy street, not fixing a traffic light) contributed to the accident.

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When can you file a claim in Virginia?

Virginia is a fault state, meaning that a party must be in some way responsible for an accident in order to be sued for damages. A party can’t be sued if they did nothing wrong.

Virginia is also a contributory negligence state, meaning that if you were even one percent at fault for an accident, you cannot recover any damages. Contributory negligence is rarely an issue for a passenger, but your claim could be hindered if you did something foolish, like getting into a car with a drunk driver, distracting the driver, or grabbing the steering wheel.

As a passenger in a motor vehicle accident, you have a limited time from the date of the incident to file a claim for personal injury, and to file a claim for damaged property.

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Types of compensation for passenger injuries

If you were a passenger who was injured during a car accident, the Commonwealth of Virginia allows you to recover damages from the driver who was responsible for the accident. Your personal injury attorney will calculate the total cost of your medical care and other expenses and then negotiate an appropriate settlement. Depending on the details of your accident, you may be entitled to one or more of the following types of compensation:

  • Medical costs. None of your costs of care should come out of your pocket. That’s why you want to keep detailed records about the costs of the following: Ambulance rides, hospital stays, surgery, medication, medical equipment, home alterations to enable access, rehabilitation, and physical therapy.
  • Lost wages. You may be compensated for the time you spend away from work during your hospital stay and recuperation in addition to any lost future wages caused by a disability resulting from your accident.
  • Pain and suffering. The physical and emotional injuries caused by extreme trauma can be long-lasting, and victims may be compensated for this.
  • Punitive damages discourage the negligent driver and others from acting in a reckless manner in the future, thus protecting the citizens of Virginia.

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Call us when you’re injured in an accident

At GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys, we don’t want someone else’s negligence to ruin your life. We know how to get you a settlement that provides the compensation you need to cover your medical costs and put your life back together. Remember, we have years of experience in working with insurance companies, and we know all their tricks, as well as how to refute them.

Call our Virginia passenger ejection lawyers today at (804) 203-0385 for your FREE case evaluation. We’ll be happy to tell you about our Zero Fee Guarantee. That means we won’t collect any payment until we’ve won an award or negotiated your settlement.

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Recent Passenger Injury Case Results

DISCLAIMER. Each case is handled based on the individual facts and circumstances of the case. These results are NOT indicative of the outcome of any potential case. All case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case, and these case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case undertaken by our firm.

  • $500,000 Compensation - Woman was severely injured while riding as a golf cart passenger.
  • $191,500 Compensation - Woman was seriously injured while riding as a passenger in a car that was struck.
  • $25,000 Compensation - Man was injured while riding as a passenger in a vehicle that ran off the road.

See more case results here.

Additional Information

Call our Eastern Virginia office today for a free consultation
at (804) 413-6777 or toll free (855) 781-6777.

Zero Fee Guarantee

It costs you nothing for our firm to represent you. We only get paid when you do. Learn more

Community Service

Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.

  • Safety Education
    GibsonSingleton launches “Texts=Wrecks” campaign to reduce the number of people injured or killed by distracted drivers.
  • Annual Coat Drive
    During the fall, our team works to distribute coats to people in need in our community.
  • Hands-on Service
    John and Ken join the Gloucester Point Rotary Club in cleaning up the community.
  • Supporting Local Schools
    The Gibson family participates in Gloucester’s Botetourt Elementary Shuffle fundraiser.