A passenger of a utility truck was fatally injured when the truck went off the road and rolled over. Police say that it appeared the driver of the utility truck fell asleep hit a road sign and then went off the road. The truck went down and embankment and rolled over.
According to officials at the scene, the crash happened around 4 p.m. at the 123 mile marker of I-75 in Scott County. The driver suffered minor injuries, and the passenger was taken to U.K Hospital in critical condition and later died at the hospital.
Passenger Injury Crashes
When a car crashes, all occupants are at risk for injury, and according to a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, passengers are at more risk of fatality or serious injury than the driver. Researchers studied actual crashes involving 4000 accidents with where there were passenger in the vehicle.
They found that passengers were at greater risk of injury than were the drivers in the same vehicle. This finding contradicted years of test-dummy safety experiments where the common belief was that drivers were more at risk than passengers. They gave three suggest reasons for their conclusion:
- That passengers are less likely to wear seatbelts.
- That the steering wheel actually adds to the protection of the passenger especially in spine and whiplash injuries as the passenger moves farther forward and then back into the seat.
- Drivers are able to brace themselves for the impact as they have control over the vehicle.
Who is Liable for Passenger Injuries?
In a typical accident, the at-fault driver is responsible for the injuries to anyone injured in the other car. However, sometimes the at-fault driver has a passenger that is injured. When this happens, there is often confusion as to who will pay for the passenger’s injuries.
Generally speaking, if a driver of a car is found to be negligent, he or she is responsible for all injures to anyone injured even if it’s a passenger in their car.
This is true even if the passenger is the spouse of the driver or someone on the same insurance policy. This is because an auto insurance policy pays for all damages for all bodily injury regardless of who is injured.
Sometimes the passenger of the at-fault driver is injured and the driver is uninsured. When this happens, if the passenger has their own auto insurance policy, their policy might pay for some or even all of the damages.
There are three provision that could come into play: uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM), medpay or personal injury protection (PIP). PIP and medpay pay for medical bills and some other expenses regardless of who was at fault, so a passenger could use one of these to pay for medical bills (medpay) and medical bills plus lost time from work (PIP).
If the passenger has UM/UIM, then their own insurance will pay for all financial losses that came from the accident if the driver was uninsured or the insurance policy didn’t cover all losses.
What if the passenger dies? If this happens, then the at-fault driver’s insurance will pay a wrongful death claim to the family. However, if the driver is uninsured, medpay will only pay for any medical bills the deceased had incurred, and PIP will only pay a limited amount of funeral expenses for a wrongful death, but no claims for loss wages, consortium, companionship and other losses that typically come with a WD case.
If the deceased had UM/UIM, then this will pay for all losses of a wrongful death that came from the accident.
Do I need an Attorney if I’m a Passenger?
If you are injured as a passenger by an at-fault driver of the car you were riding in, you should talk to an attorney about your options for seeking compensation. The attorney can tell you whether you can get compensated by the insurance for the at-fault driver of your car, or whether you can use your own insurance policy to cover your own losses.
Call the attorneys at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, for a free consultation to and a case evaluation. Then if you decide to hire an attorney, they have experienced and skilled attorney who will stand with you and get you the compensation you deserve.
When you call Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, at 800 937-8443, you will immediately speak to a member of the legal team and not a message machine. You can also Live Chat with an expert who can immediately began helping you with your claim.