Representing Injured Passengers
Take control of your case with a lawyer from our firm
You've been hurt in an auto accident - and it clearly wasn't your fault. You weren't even behind the wheel. In an instant, your life is changed due to someone else's actions. You need our legal team on your side to protect your rights.
Even though passenger injury cases may seem straightforward, we've seen over the years that many can get surprisingly complicated. That's where we come in. Since 1952, Recht Law Offices has been helping injured passengers get all of the compensation they need to recover.
Liability in Passenger Injury Cases
By law, passengers are almost never liable for auto accidents. The only exceptions are when a passenger deliberately distracts or otherwise disrupts the driver. In the vast majority of cases, someone who was actually driving a vehicle is liable for any injuries suffered.
That means that as an injured passenger, you'll be dealing with an insurance company representing another person - either the driver of the car you were in or the driver of another car. Their priority is to protect their client and their own liability, not yours. They may offer a "low-ball" settlement or try to find ways to say you were partially responsible for your injuries. That's why it's so critical to have an experienced passenger injury lawyer on your side.
Passenger injury cases can be especially difficult when the driver of the vehicle you were in is also the driver at fault for the accident. It's important to remember that when you file a claim for injuries suffered in the accident, you're not trying to take money from your friend, colleague or relative who was driving. Rather, you're trying to collect from his or her insurance policy - and that's exactly what the policy is for in the first place. Our family is here to help your family handle those difficult cases with empathy and compassion, and we're mindful of the relationships involved as well as the need for compensation.
What if I wasn't wearing my seat belt?
West Virginia has a mandatory safety belt law for drivers, all passengers in the front seat and all passengers under 18 in the back seat. The laws in Ohio and Pennsylvania are similar. If you weren't wearing your seat belt at the time of the accident, the insurance company may try to deny your claim on the grounds that you were at fault for your own injuries.
You don't have to just take that answer. Remember that even a properly functioning safety belt can't prevent every injury; our investigation may determine that you would have been hurt even if you were wearing your seat belt. We'll consult expert witnesses and reconstruct the accident scene to prove that your injuries weren't your fault.
Moreover, West Virginia's comparative negligence law means you can still collect damages even if you were partially responsible for your injuries. For instance, if a court rules that your injuries were 30 percent due to your failure to wear a seat belt and 70 percent due to the actions of the driver who caused the accident, you would still collect compensation for 70 percent of the cost of the accident.
What happened wasn't your fault. That's why we offer a free case evaluation and work on a contingency fee basis - you don't owe us a cent until we get a settlement or verdict in your favor. We're here to help you focus on your recovery instead of worrying about claims and legal fees.
Contact us right away to get started on your case. Reach out to Recht Law at 1-800-487-8546 to schedule your free consultation.