Passenger Rights

Driving a car

If you’ve suffered injuries as a passenger in a car accident, you have the right to seek compensation. You can pursue a car accident insurance claim against the driver who caused the accident or, if the fault was shared by two or more drivers, against every driver whose negligence contributed to the accident. Sorting out fault and deciding how much each insurer should pay can be a complicated process. Sometimes a lawsuit must be filed against multiple drivers before insurance companies will agree to pay their fair share in a settlement.

Timothy J. Ryan & Associates has decades of experience helping passengers who are injured in car accidents achieve justice. By charging contingent fees, the firm is able to help all accident victims, regardless of their financial circumstances. Injury victims pay nothing unless they receive compensation. To learn more about how Timothy J. Ryan & Associates protects the rights of passengers who were injured in car accidents, call 800-838-6644.


In many car accidents, fault is shared. When cars crash in an intersection, the driver who failed to yield usually bears the most fault, but the other driver may also be at fault for driving too fast or for failing to pay attention to traffic. The compensation that California injury victims receive is reduced in proportion to their own fault.

Unlike drivers, passengers in a car accident are almost never at fault. Unless the passenger grabs the steering wheel or otherwise disrupts the driver’s ability to drive safely, an insurance company cannot usually accuse a passenger of engaging in negligent conduct that caused the accident. That means passengers usually have the right to recover 100% of the compensation they need to restore their lives to their pre-accident condition.

Passengers have the right to pursue compensation from the driver of the car in which they were riding and from other drivers whose negligence may have contributed to the accident. When multiple insurance companies with different policy limits are involved, a skilled personal injury lawyer will help injured passengers maximize their compensation by bringing claims against the insurance companies for each driver who was even partially at fault.


Passengers may experience a variety of physical and emotional injuries in a car accident, including:

  • Head and brain injuries
  • Neck, back, and spinal injuries
  • Paralysis and other disabling conditions
  • Broken bones
  • Internal bleeding and organ damage
  • Cuts and puncture wounds
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Damaged knees
  • Loss of vision or hearing
  • Dental injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries (stretched or torn muscles, tendons, and ligaments)
  • Nerve damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

In addition to seeking financial compensation for those losses, injured passengers have the right to make insurance claims for lost wages and the anticipated loss of future income, for their past and future medical expenses, and for expenses they will incur to help them cope with a disability (such as vocational rehabilitation or a wheelchair-accessible vehicle).


Insurance industry studies confirm that injury victims who make claims without the assistance of a lawyer receive substantially less compensation than victims who are represented. Insurance adjusters often try to persuade injury victims to accept a quick settlement before they have time to consult with a personal injury lawyer.

Adjusters also want victims to settle before they understand the full extent of their injuries. Since a victim cannot ask for more money after a settlement is finalized, adjusters save money for insurance companies by settling claims with unrepresented injury victims. Passengers who are injured in car accidents have the right to representation by a personal injury attorney. An experienced Car Accident Attorney in Orange County will sort through the problems posed when insurance adjusters claim that other drivers (rather than their insured driver) was responsible for the passenger’s injury.

With decades of experience representing passengers who are injured in car accidents, Timothy J. Ryan knows how to negotiate with each insurer for a responsible party to assure that passengers receive maximum compensation for their injuries. Representation by a dedicated fighter is the key to obtaining a favorable personal injury settlement. If you were a passenger who was injured in a motor vehicle accident, protect your rights by calling Timothy J. Ryan & Associates a defective airbag lawyer in California at 800-838-6644.