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Are Passengers Entitled to Compensation After a Drunk Driving Accident?

May 20, 2024

By the Law Firm of Brandt & Sherman

When a drunk driving accident occurs, the focus is often on the driver's negligence. However, passengers, who are typically innocent bystanders in these situations, can also suffer severe injuries. Understanding your rights as a passenger is crucial for seeking justice and compensation for any damages incurred.

Understanding Your Legal Rights as a Passenger

If you are injured as a passenger in a drunk driving accident, you are generally entitled to compensation. This right to seek damages extends to injuries sustained due to the negligence of the driver of the vehicle you were in or the driver of another vehicle involved.

In Louisiana, as in most states, passengers have the right to file a personal injury claim. This claim can cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses resulting from the accident. It's important to know that being in a vehicle with a drunk driver does not negate your rights to claim compensation.

Steps to Take Following an Accident

Gather Evidence: Immediately after an accident, if you are able, gather as much evidence as possible. This includes taking photos of the scene, collecting contact information from witnesses, and obtaining a copy of the police report. Such documentation can be crucial in substantiating your claim.

Seek Medical Attention: Even if you do not feel injured, it is vital to see a doctor. Some injuries, like whiplash or internal injuries, might not present symptoms immediately.

Consult with an Attorney: Speaking with an experienced drunk driving accident attorney can help you understand your rights and the best course of action to take. They can assist in navigating the legal system and insurance claims to ensure you receive fair compensation.

Challenges in Passenger Compensation Claims

Passenger claims can be complicated. If the driver of the vehicle you were in was intoxicated, their insurance company might try to reduce or deny your claim by arguing contributory negligence, suggesting that you knew the driver was drunk and willingly took the risk by riding with them.

Moreover, if multiple passengers are injured, there might be a limit to the compensation available under the driver's insurance policy, which may not fully cover the damages of all injured parties.

Another complication arises if the drunk driver is uninsured or underinsured. In such cases, you may need to seek compensation through your own insurance policy if you have coverage for uninsured or underinsured motorists.

Why Legal Representation is Crucial

Securing legal representation soon after your accident can make a significant difference in your compensation claim. A skilled attorney will work to overcome any challenges and will advocate on your behalf, ensuring that all potential sources of compensation are pursued.

At Brandt & Sherman, our attorneys have extensive experience handling drunk driving accident claims. We understand the emotional and physical toll these accidents can cause, and we are dedicated to helping our clients recover the compensation they deserve.

Contact Us Today

If you or a loved one has been injured as a passenger in a drunk driving accident, reach out to us immediately. The sooner you act, the better we can preserve the evidence and strengthen your claim. Let our team at Brandt & Sherman help you through this challenging time and fight for the compensation you rightfully deserve.

Remember, consulting with us is free, and you pay nothing unless we win your case. Let us help you move forward from this traumatic experience with the support and legal expertise you need.

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