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Passengers In a Minnesota Car Accident

Group Of Friends In Car On Road Trip TogetherOften times passengers suffer greater injuries than drivers in the event of an accident. Statistics show that the passenger is sometimes more vulnerable to sustaining injuries than the driver. The possibility of being slammed into the dashboard, or even ejected through the windshield is an imminent threat. Always remember that, as a passenger, you have rights and can seek compensation for any injuries and lost work time you might experience after an auto collision.

Making a Third Party Insurance Claim in Minnesota

The biggest difference for a passenger who is filing a personal injury claim is that there will often not be the same dilemma over liability. Issues of liability for causing an auto accident are usually reserved for the drivers who were actually behind the wheel.

Depending on who was at fault for the underlying car accident a passenger can sometimes make a claim against either of the following liability insurance policies:

  • the policy of the driver or owner of the car you were riding in at the time of the accident, or
  • the policy of the driver or owner of another vehicle involved in the accident.

A claim in either of these scenarios is considered a “third party” claim since it is one you are making under an insurance policy[1] that is not your own. It is also possible that a passenger will need to make multiple claims where one driver’s liability policy does not provide sufficient coverage for the passenger’s losses making it necessary to file a claim under the policy of a second driver who was also responsible for causing the accident.

Complications to Third Party Insurance Claims

Anytime a claim is filed under an insurance policy that is not your own it is considered a third party claim[2], as would occur when a passenger files a claim against an at-fault driver.  Even though a passenger under these circumstances is not at-fault for the accident, there are still issues and complications that can arise when filing the personal injury claim. This type of claim still requires significant proof of damages in order to support the dollar amount you are claiming such as medical bills and police reports.
Unlike a claim against your own insurance company, a third party claim filed by a passenger does not involve a contractual obligation between you as an injured party and the insurance company.  This means that sometimes investigations and determining compensation can be a longer process, complicated by the red tape and number of hoops a passenger has to jump through in order to financially recover for injuries. This is especially difficult in a case where there is a dispute over fault between the different drivers involved in the crash resulting in outside interviews, independent medical examinations, and extensive reviews of records.

Contact a Minnesota Passenger Injury Lawyer

Passenger injury law can often be complex and may involve different options than those of a driver involved in an accident.  The passenger injury attorneys at McEwen & Kestner are able to help guide you through the complicated maze that an unwanted auto collision creates. At McEwen & Kestner our skilled passenger injury attorneys will protect your rights under Minnesota law to make sure you receive all of the compensation that you deserve.  Please call our office at 800-732-3070 today or send an email to pkestner@mcewenlaw.com.

References:

[1] https://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/statutes/?id=604.18
[2] https://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0600-0699/0624/Sections/0624.155.html

I highly recommend M&K, not only was the settlement much more than I anticipated, it was a pleasure to work with Pete and his staff. He is professional, polite and straightforward. His knowledge and litigation skill coupled with business manner, helped make the process easy and understandable. His analysis was thoughtful, honest and he explained complex concepts and procedures. I was very pleased with his expertise.
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