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Can Passengers Sue His or Her Driver After an Accident?

Over the years, attorneys at Cook, Bradford & Levy, LLC, have represented a wide variety of accident victims across Colorado and beyond. One of the scariest situations is when the driver of the car we are in drives carelessly, negligently, or recklessly, putting our health and safety at risk. When this situation happens, we can feel trapped or helpless against the bad choices the driver is making.

Unfortunately, many passengers are injured every year because of the negligent and careless acts of the driver of the car they are in. When this happens, people may wonder: can a passenger sue the driver of the car he or she was in? Put differently, can a passenger sue the driver of the car the passenger was in? The answer to this question is generally yes, but in Colorado your avenues of recovery will depend on your relationship to the driver. If you were a passenger and the driver of the car you were in negligently or carelessly caused an accident, we invite you to call us today at 303-543-1000 for a free consultation with our experienced team of Boulder passenger accident lawyers.

So What Relationship Determines Whether a Passenger Can Sue the Driver?

As discussed above, a passenger’s relationship with the driver will decide whether the passenger can bring a claim against the driver’s car insurance. Typically, the driver’s car insurance policy identifies the type of relationships with a driver that are excluded from recovering against a driver’s insurance policy.

Generally, most auto insurance policies exclude immediate family members such as husbands, wives, and children from making a claim against another immediate family member. For example, if a wife’s careless driving causes a crash and the husband was a passenger, he is excluded from recovering under the wife’s (or in this case, family’s) policy. On the other hand, friends and less immediate family members usually are not excluded and therefore can “sue” or make claims against the driver’s insurance policy. An experienced Longmont passenger accident attorney knows the reason for this is that insurance companies view close familial relationships as an unacceptable risk that a husband and wife, for example, may collude, conspire, or work together to fraudulently bring a claim against the insurance carrier.

The best Longmont passenger accident lawyers can help you determine whether you will be covered under the driver’s insurance policy. The key thing to remember is that each insurance policy is unique and must be examined on a case-by-case basis. At Cook, Bradford & Levy, LLC, our Boulder passenger accident attorneys have closely examined hundreds of insurance policies and we are willing to review your policy for free to determine whether you, as a passenger, can bring a claim against the driver’s insurance policy.

Are There Other Ways a Passenger Can Recover When a Driver is Negligent?

The best way passengers can protect themselves from negligent drivers if to purchase their own uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, commonly known as UM/UIM coverage. With UM/UIM coverage, you are covered by your own insurance company if the driver you are with does not have liability coverage or does not have enough liability insurance to cover your damages. A good Lafayette, Colorado injury law firm will be able to explain to you just how UM/UIM coverage works, and that it is portable, meaning that it covers you if you are in your own car or in any other vehicle as a passenger or driver. UM/UIM insurance is such a valuable type of coverage, it even covers you on your bicycle and in many cases if you are a pedestrian hit by a car or truck.

At the end of the day, you should understand that in most cases passengers in Colorado can sue the driver. There are only certain circumstances where that is not the case, and a knowledgeable Firestone injury lawyer can help explain to you the things that allow you, or exclude you, from bringing a claim against the driver’s insurance policy.

If you or a loved one is a passenger that has been hurt or killed because the driver of the car you were in was careless, negligent, or reckless, we invite you to call us today at 303-543-1000 for a free consultation about how our Johnstown passenger accident attorneys can help you today.

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“I was rear ended by a driver on his cell phone. I started with another attorney, but was not receiving adequate attention to my case. I switched to Brian and everything changed. He was attentive to my situation, listened to all I had to say, and worked to resolve my case in a timely fashion. He continued to communicate and touch base even during slow parts of the process. After the settlement was resolved, he has still reached out to check in on my health and well being. I would highly recommend Brian Bradford as a lawyer.” Randy
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“A driver trying to get away from the police ran a red light and broadsided my car. My injuries affected me physically, emotionally and organizationally. Hiring Steve Cook allowed me to focus on healing while ALL the legal Issues were effectively handled by his firm. Steve's patience, honest, determination. competence and experienced evaluation of my case resulted in a great settlement without having to go to trial.” Shirley
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“I was injured in a car accident and I was having a hard time getting much of a response from the insurance companies. I never thought I would resort to calling an attorney, but I am so happy that I did, and that Jason Levy was that attorney. He was respectful, knowledgeable, and kind. When I was healing from major surgery, he arranged for my deposition to take place all the way out in Harford County, at a library near my home, rather than having me come into the city. He was also very persistent with the other driver's insurance company, finally negotiating an excellent settlement” Kate