When you're a passenger in someone else's vehicle, you're not just at the mercy of all of the drivers on the road around you but of your own driver -- whether they're a family member, friend, work colleague who's driving the carpool or someone working for Uber or Lyft.
What if you're involved in a crash and you suffer serious injuries? If you need to file a lawsuit to seek the compensation you require to cover medical bills, physical therapy, lost wages and other financial losses, whom do you file the suit against?
It depends on who is responsible for the crash. The authorities who are investigating it will work to determine that. Both drivers and their insurance companies may be battling over who is at fault.
The crash may have been the fault of the other driver. They may have been distracted, under the influence or just plain reckless. However, the person driving the car you were in may have been the one at fault. Maybe they were texting while driving, for example, or simply not looking where they were going.
Sometimes, both drivers are determined to have some degree of responsibility for a crash. When that's the case, it's important to remember that Georgia is one state that follows the 50 Percent Bar Rule rather than the more common Modified Comparative Fault Rule. That means that if one party is determined to be more than half responsible for the crash, they cannot recover partial damages from the other driver. It's important to work with an attorney to see how this rule impacts you as a passenger.
You may also be able to hold others besides one or both drivers liable for a crash. Vehicle manufacturers can be held liable when a defect causes a crash or otherwise contributes to injuries. Sometimes, government entities can be held liable -- perhaps if there was no signage where there should have been or there was a defect in the road, for example.
An experienced attorney can help you work to hold the appropriate individuals and/or entities responsible so that you can recover the compensation you need after a serious crash to get the appropriate treatment and move forward with your life.