Passengers can contribute to car accidents, too. If you’ve recently been injured in a crash in New York City and think your passenger is to blame, contact Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C. Our NYC car accident lawyers will help you file a claim and pursue the compensation you need and deserve.
We offer a free initial case evaluation, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help. Our team will gladly listen to your side of the story, help you understand your rights, and answer any questions you might have. It’s important to get started on your case as soon as you can, so give us a call today.
Why Do I Need a NYC Personal Injury Lawyer If My Passenger Caused a Car Accident?
If you’ve been injured because of a negligent passenger, the experienced NYC personal injury attorneys at Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C. will help you fight to prove it. For more than 40 years, our attorneys have been handling car accident cases in New York.
Our dedication to our clients and tireless pursuit of financial justice has helped us recover more millions in compensation for injury victims like just you. We’ll put our experience and record of success to work to help you when you need it most.
How can we help you? When you hire us to handle your passenger negligence case, you can expect us to:
- Conduct an exhaustive investigation into your car accident
- Gather evidence to support the argument that a passenger’s negligence caused or contributed to the crash
- Stand up and defend you against claims that you, and not your passenger, are at fault
- Handle all conversations and negotiations with other parties and insurance companies, and
- Work with experts throughout the process, especially as we investigate, build, and assess the value of your case.
As we work on your injury claim, we’ll prepare for any and all possibilities. While we’ll work diligently to secure a swift and significant settlement on your behalf, we won’t advise you to accept an offer for less than you need and deserve. If insurance companies don’t cooperate, our trial lawyers will be more than ready to take your case to a jury.
Our record of success at trial is well known across New York City, so you can be sure that insurers will want to avoid a showdown in court at all costs. That can be a huge motivator as they craft a settlement offer for you.
Interested in learning more? Contact our New York City law firm to schedule a free consultation. We’re ready to sit down and discuss the possibilities whenever you are.
What is Negligence, Anyway?
So, when we say that a passenger was negligent, what does that mean? Negligence is a tort. It’s the legal basis for most of the personal injury claims (and car accident injury claims, in particular) in New York. Negligence means that someone else (the defendant) had a responsibility to act in a particular way, didn’t, and caused you (the plaintiff) to get hurt.
When you file a car accident injury claim in NYC on the grounds that someone else was negligent, you will have to prove:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care
- The defendant breached that duty of care in some way
- The defendant’s actions caused you harm, and
- You’ve suffered a physical, emotional, and/or financial injury.
These are the elements of negligence – duty, breach, causation, injury. If you can prove each element, you can establish negligence. When a person is negligent, they can be financially accountable for harm that they cause.
Can Passengers Be At Fault For A Car Crash?
We know that drivers assume a duty of care when they get behind the wheel. But, you might not know that passengers do, too. Passengers have to act in a way that doesn’t increase the risk of an accident or put others – inside or outside of the vehicle – at a greater risk of harm.
Examples of passenger negligence might include:
- Sticking hands, feet, or body parts out of the window while the car is in motion
- Placing their feet on the dashboard, obstructing the driver’s view
- Grabbing the steering wheel
- Placing their hands over the driver’s eyes or face
- Playing with the radio, vehicle controls, or other buttons in a way that’s distracting, or
- Carrying on a conversation with the driver or other passengers in the car.
Wait, even having a conversation can be considered negligence? Quite possibly. It really depends on how much the passenger is distracting the driver. It all boils down to the specific factors and circumstances of a particular case.
What Happens If I’m Blamed For an Accident That Was My Passenger’s Fault?
You were driving the car, so you’ll probably be the one who is blamed if there’s an accident. If this happens to you, but you’re not at fault, it’s important to reach out to an experienced attorney for help. New York has comparative negligence rules. This means that fault is divided up and apportioned out to everyone who plays a role in causing an accident.
If you are assigned blame for an accident:
- You will be financially liable for some or all of the damages sustained by others in the crash, and
- Your ability to recover compensation for your own injuries can be affected.
The greater your proportionate responsibility, the more damages you’ll be on the hook for. And, the more fault you share, the less money you can get for your own injuries.
Let’s say you’re driving along and, all of a sudden, your passenger Jeff grabs the steering wheel and moves it back and forth. It’s just playful, but it prevents you from controlling the car. As a result, you crash right into another car, driven by Steve. Steve immediately blames you and wastes no time in filing an injury claim with your insurance company.
However, you’re not really responsible. Jeff is. If you don’t stand up and defend yourself, you might be liable for Jeff’s injuries. And, you might be prohibited from recovering compensation if you’re assigned 100 percent of the blame.
Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C. will carefully investigate the accident and work to uncover any evidence to show that Jeff – not you – caused the accident. In this particular case, photographs from a red light camera, surveillance footage from a nearby bodega, or eyewitness testimony from someone who saw Jeff grab the wheel could be helpful. With the evidence in hand, we will prove that Jeff should be held financially responsible for the accident, not you.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit Against a Negligent Passenger?
For personal injury lawsuits based on negligence, the statute of limitations is typically three years. The clock begins to run at the time of the accident. If your injuries aren’t evident right away, you might have additional time to file suit. However, the state will not allow you to bring a claim if you wait too long. That means that hesitating to assert your rights can mean not getting compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other crash-related damages.
Schedule a Call With Our New York City Passenger Negligence Lawyers
Did you recently suffer an injury in a New York City car accident? Did a passenger’s behavior play a role in the crash? If so, contact Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C. for help. You could be entitled to compensation, and our NYC car accident attorneys will help you fight to maximize your recovery.
These cases can be difficult, especially if you’re close to the negligent passenger. We’ll handle all aspects of your injury claim so you don’t have to. You just focus on getting better. It’s that simple.
Give us a call to arrange a free initial case evaluation and learn more about your rights today.