Your Rights When Injured as a Passenger in an Alaska Car Accident


Many auto crash claims focus on motorists who get hurt while driving, but it is important to remember that you are still at risk of injury when you are a passenger in a motor vehicle collision. In some accident scenarios, you could even suffer more severe bodily harm. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reveals that many SUVs, pickups, and other vehicles have major flaws when it comes to protecting passengers in side-impact crashes. Fortunately, you have rights as the victim of a collision, including legal options to seek compensation for your losses.

It is essential to retain an Alaska car accidents attorney to assist with the process. You might also benefit from reviewing some basic information about your remedies.


Legal Basis for Motor Vehicle Crash Claims

Most auto collisions are the result of driver negligence, so there are certain elements you must prove to recover monetary damages. However, these elements center on two factors:

  • Who was at fault in the accident; and,
  • The nature and severity of your injuries.


Logistics of Filing a Claim 

The process for seeking compensation in an auto crash typically starts with filing an insurance claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company. Because you were not driving, you would expect that your rights are clear. But the responsible driver’s insurance company may deny that its policyholder was at fault. Often insurance companies point fingers at each other and reject payment to you. At this point, it is usually necessary to initiate a lawsuit in civil court and let the defendants battle out liability.

Another logistical issue with filing a claim as an injured passenger is that you could be dealing with the insurance company of a friend or family member. You are in a somewhat awkward position, so it is important to remember that you have a legal right to monetary damages if you can prove your case. Your losses are significant, and you should not give up on your interests to protect a relationship. Hopefully, this driver will be understanding.


Compensation for Your Losses

Whether you file an insurance claim or go to court to get monetary damages, the basis for recovering for your losses is the same. Compensation is intended to make you as whole as possible as a victim, so you may be able to obtain amounts for:

  • Your medical costs;
  • Any lost wages resulting from your inability to work;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Mental anguish;
  • Inconvenience
  • Scarring and disfigurement;
  • Losses that affect your personal relationships; and,
  • Diminished quality of life from not being able to enjoy favorite activities.


Speak to an Alaska Car Accidents Lawyer About Your Rights 

For more information about your legal options as a passenger in a motor vehicle crash, please contact Power & Power Law in Anchorage, Alaska. We can set up a no-cost case evaluation to review your circumstances in more detail. Once we determine an effective strategy, we will get started on a plan to get the compensation you deserve as an injured victim.