How Much Can A Passenger In A Car Accident Settlement Get?

A car accident settlement can vary greatly depending on many factors including insurance coverage, liability, and damages.

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How Much Can A Passenger In A Car Accident Settlement Get?

An exhaustive study conducted by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration into the causes of motor vehicle crashes concluded that driver behavior was a factor in 94% of the accidents studied, a disturbing result to anyone who enters a vehicle as a passenger.

Passengers may feel helpless and powerless to prevent a car accident from occurring. However, as you continue reading, you will learn how to control what you do and say after a car crash to protect your right to be fairly compensated from the driver(s) whose negligence caused you to sustain injuries.

The following are some of the factors that may affect how much you get as a settlement of your personal injury claim as a passenger injured in a car accident.

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Remember that you have the burden of proving liability and damages

It’s a mistake to assume that, as a passenger who was not in control of the car you rode in, that the driver’s insurance company will automatically send someone to drop off a settlement check. Unless it was a one-car crash caused by your driver speeding and being unable to safely navigate through a curve, the insurance company for the driver of the car you were in may claim that someone else was actually at fault in causing the crash.

Injured passengers have the burden of proving they are entitled to recover damages from the person who was at fault in causing an accident. You need to take steps beginning immediately after the collision to gather and preserve information about the accident that a personal injury lawyer can use to determine how it occurred and identify the parties responsible for causing it.

Get up to $500,000 with rates as low as 2.5% simple, monthly

Be careful about what you do and say after a crash

A car accident can be a sudden and violent event that may leave you shaken and disoriented. Do not attempt to get out of the car or move around until you determine whether you have been injured. An injury could become worse by moving, so stay where you are, call 911, and wait for police and emergency medical personnel to arrive and examine you.

If you do not believe that you were injured or are in danger of a secondary collision and must exit the car, do not remain in the roadway. Get off the road and away from traffic as soon as you are out of the car.

Do not talk to anyone other than the police and paramedics about the accident or your physical condition because you may not realize the full extent of your injuries until hours or days after the accident. For example, whiplash, which is a common injury to the neck that vehicle occupants get from the sudden movement of their head and neck due to the force of a crash, may only produce soreness in your neck, but symptoms may worsen in the days after the injury and last for months.

Statements that you make at the scene of an accident can be used by insurance companies to weaken your claim for damages later on. Speak only to the police and medical personnel about the accident and your injuries, but stick to the facts that you know and do not speculate about the severity of injuries or the cause of the crash.

Preserve the accident scene

If you feel physically capable, try do obtain the following information before the vehicles involved in the crash have been moved:

  • Photos of the accident scene from different angles, including buildings and traffic signs.
  • Photos of the vehicles, including license plates and damage from multiple angles.
  • Photos of skid marks, parts from the vehicles and other items on the ground near the crash site.
  • Get the names and contact information of people who may have witnessed the crash.
  • Get the names and contact information of all drivers and occupants of vehicles involved in the crash.
  • Photos of police, fire and ambulance vehicles that include the department name to help your lawyer know who to contact for information and accident reports.

If you are unable to obtain this information, ask someone to do it for you.

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See a doctor right away

When making a claim to recover damages for personal injuries received in a car accident, you need to be able to prove that you have an injury and that it was caused by the car accident. Start by telling police and paramedics at the scene of the crash that you have an injury, and let paramedics examine you. If they recommend taking a trip with them in an ambulance, do not turn them down.

When paramedics examine you at the scene, their notes become part of an official report that can be used by your attorney to document that your complaints about an injury began at the scene immediately after an accident. Refusing a ride to the hospital will likewise find its way into the official report that an insurance company will use as proof that your injuries were not serious enough for you to be taken to the emergency department of a hospital.

Whether you go by ambulance or have someone drive you, either go to an emergency department to be examined or make an appointment to have your own doctor do an examination to determine the extent and severity of your injuries. If you have serious injuries, follow the instructions given to you by your doctors, including taking prescribed medications and restrictions on physical activities.

Hire an experienced car accident attorney

A personal injury attorney with experience handling claims for compensation on behalf of passengers injured in car accidents is essential if you want to receive the maximum settlement for your injuries. The lawyer knows how to investigate the facts of the accident, identify the parties responsible for causing it, and gather evidence that will be needed to prove fault and the serious injuries that you sustained in the crash.

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We understand that if you’re applying for funding with us, you needed the funding yesterday. With your attorney’s cooperation, we can provide funding as soon as the same day you apply with us.

Type and severity of injuries

The types and severity of the injuries you receive in a car accident are important in determining the settlement you receive. Common injuries passengers get in car accidents include:

  • Soft-tissue injuries, including damage to muscles, tendons and ligaments.
  • Fractured bones in the arms, legs and hands are common, but more serious fractures of bones in the face, skull, neck and back may cause injuries to the brain and spine, leading to paralysis.
  • Injuries to the brain may occur even without a skull fracture or any sign of trauma to the head due to the force exerted on the body in a car crash. A passenger may be so violently thrown about that the brain moves within the skull and is injured when it strikes the inside of the skull.

Soft-tissue injuries that heal relatively quickly affect a settlement less than fractures and head injuries that take longer to heal, require more extensive medical treatment and may cause long-term physical and emotional impairment.

The medical care required to effectively treat the injuries also affects a potential settlement. A sprained wrist may require minimal treatment to heal, but a bone fracture in the wrist may require surgery to reset the bone, which may increase the settlement value.

Out-of-pocket losses and car accident settlement value

Expenses and out-of-pocket losses must be included in a car accident settlement as compensatory damages, which increases the settlement value of a car accident case for a passenger. Compensatory damages include:

  • Medical expenses: including physical therapy and rehabilitation, medical equipment, and prescription medications.
  • Anticipated future medical expenses: When doctors recommend additional treatment or surgery in the future, the anticipated cost may be included as compensatory damages.
  • Lost wages: Earnings lost as a result of not being able to work while recovering from severe injuries suffered in a car accident.
  • Lost or diminished future earning capacity: Accident victims with severe injuries may be limited in the type of work they do and the number of hours they can work due to a permanent disability.

Get up to $500,000 with rates as low as 2.5% simple, monthly

Policy limits of insurance coverage

Some states set very low minimum liability insurance limits for drivers, so the motorist responsible for causing the accident may have minimal automobile insurance policy coverage. This has an adverse impact on settlement of your claim because the insurance company will only pay up to its policy limits in settlement of a lawsuit.

Getting financial help while waiting for a settlement

It takes time to settle a car accident claim on behalf of an injured passenger. A solution to the financial hardship an injured person experiences may be a personal injury loan from

Unlike a conventional loan that you repay with monthly payments, a lawsuit loan gets repaid from the settlement of your personal injury lawsuit. If you lose the case, the funding company gets nothing. Learn more by contacting or apply online.

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