What Are Your Rights as a Passenger in a Wreck?

When a car accident occurs, it is not only the drivers of vehicles involved that are at risk of sustaining injuries; passengers are often severely harmed as well. To be sure, there are thousands of passengers treated in emergency departments every year.

While passengers may assume that safety relies on the driver, the truth is that everyone has a responsibility to do what they can to preserve their own safety – for passengers, this means always wearing a seatbelt. Consider the following information about passenger safety, and what your rights are if you are in a crash caused by a negligent driver:

Don’t Assume the Back is Always Safer

The front seat next to the driver has earned the reputation as the “death seat,” with many passengers choosing to sit in the back, which has long been perceived as being more secure. However, as an article in CBS News reveals, that thinking is very much out of date. Today, advancements in car safety that focus on the two front seats (driver and front passenger), such as crumple zones and airbags, greatly reduce the likelihood of suffering an injury. Instead, the backseat may now be more dangerous, with a research scientist for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) explaining that crash dummies sit in the front, which means that technology is improving for passengers in the front of the vehicle, but not the back.

Always Buckle U

Regardless of your position in a vehicle, whether the driver, the front passenger, or a passenger in the rear, you should always buckle up. Despite the fact that wearing a seatbelt is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of injury, especially fatal injury, in a crash, about 22 percent of backseat passengers do not buckle up. Wearing a seatbelt prevents you from being thrown from a vehicle in the event of a crash; more than 75 percent of people who are ejected from a vehicle die from their injuries.

Know Your Rights If You Are Harmed

If you are a passenger who is harmed in a crash, you have the right to bring a claim against the at-fault driver, whether the driver of the car you are riding in at the time of collision, or the driver of another vehicle. You also maintain the right to file a lawsuit directly against the at-fault party, although attempting to reach a settlement first through negotiations with an insurance adjuster is recommended.

Our Attorneys Are Here to Represent You

You also have the right to seek the full value of losses you have suffered, and to work with an attorney who can represent you throughout the process. At the law offices of Bednarz Law, our experienced Nashville passenger injury lawyers have the skillset and reputation you’re looking for, and know how to bring forth an effective case. To learn more about your rights if you are harmed in a car accident in Tennessee, please contact our law offices today. Consultations are offered free of charge.