When someone is a passenger in a friend or family member’s car and become injured as a result of an automobile accident, most often call me asking if they have to sue their friend or family member. It’s an important question because bringing a claim against someone you know well, like a close friend or a family member, is very awkward. The key is this, if you’re a passenger in a motor vehicle and there’s an accident, there’s no fault of your own. The only exception perhaps, is you might be partially blamed for not wearing a seat belt. Other than that, there could be no claim; you’re not driving and you didn’t cause the accident.
In a two car accident, if someone comes to me and they’re injured and I want to bring a claim on their behalf, I would typically make a claim against both parties/both vehicles, and let the defendants sort out who’s at fault. Don’t forget, although it can be awkward, you, as a claimant, are looking for compensation for your personal injuries. As to the friend or family member, if you don’t want to go beyond an insurance policy, you don’t have to. We would not ever look for personal assets of a friend or family member who you sue, but only up to the limits of their insurance policy.
The law office of Weinstein, Chase, Messinger and Peters is composed of dedicated attorneys, who have years of experience dealing with automobile accident cases throughout the Brooklyn, New York area. Contact them for your free initial consultation.