By: Virtus Law Group, Birmingham Alabama.
What insurance is available when you’re the passenger of a vehicle involved in a car wreck and injured? As is often the case in legal questions, it depends.
Scenario 1: The driver of the vehicle the passenger is in, is at fault
Typically, in this situation, the passenger would be excluded from recovering due to Alabama’s guest statute which prohibits passengers from recovering against the driver of the vehicle that was carrying them.
However, there are exceptions to this law that allow for recovery if there was willful or wanton misconduct of the driver, which for example would be if the driver was driving at excessive speeds at the objection of the passenger, or if there was some type of payment for the ride which could be a simple as paying for lunch in exchange for a ride to the store.
If one of the exceptions applies, the passenger may be able to recover from both the driver’s insurance policy and the passenger’s policy if the driver didn’t have enough insurance to cover the injury.
Scenario 2: Another driver is at fault
If another driver is the cause of the wreck, then there may be multiple sources of insurance available to the passenger, the first of which being the at-fault driver’s.
Should the at-fault driver not have enough coverage or no coverage at all, then the passenger may be able to recover from un/underinsured motorist coverage from the driver of the passenger’s vehicle. If the driver of the passenger’s vehicle doesn’t have adequate coverage, then the passenger may be able to recover from their un/underinsured motorist coverage.
For example, if the at-fault driver only has a minimum policy of $25,000 in bodily injury coverage, the driver of the passenger’s vehicle doesn’t have underinsured motorist coverage, but the passenger has underinsured motorist coverage of $100,000, the passenger may be able to recover from their policy should the damages justify.
Insurance coverage in car accidents can get very complicated and our firm is here to assist you. To learn more, contact our office to schedule a free consultation today.
Founded in Birmingham, Alabama Virtus Law Group is a Personal Injury and Labor and Employment firm serving the people of Alabama.