If you were injured as a passenger in a car accident in Maryland, you may be entitled to seek compensation. Different individuals may be at fault for your injuries, including the driver of the car that you were a passenger in and the driver of the other vehicle.
Unfortunately, getting fairly compensated for a car accident injury can be complicated, especially when insurance companies deny liability – or try to pay less than you deserve for your injuries. Level the playing field and protect your legal rights by hiring an experienced attorney to represent you. Randolph Rice is a skilled and effective Maryland car accident lawyer for injured passengers, available 24/7 to provide free legal consultations. If you believe you may have a claim for passenger injuries in Maryland, contact us online to set up your free consultation, or call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 today.
Car Accident Passenger Injury + Fatality Statistics
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a nonprofit research group that studies ways to reduce auto accidents, a total of 36,560 people were killed in crashes in 2018. The majority of these fatalities – a total of nearly 23,000 people – were occupants of passenger vehicles, which include “cars, minivans, pickups, SUVs, and cargo/large passenger vans,” but exclude commercial vehicles like semi-trailer trucks.
Among the 22,891 people who were killed in passenger vehicle accidents in 2018, nearly 17,200 were drivers, while the remaining victims were other vehicle occupants. Among the passengers who were killed – a total of more than 5,300 people – most were front-row passengers (3,577), followed by passengers in the second row (1,685) and, in some larger passenger vehicles, the third row (103).
Can I Sue if I Was a Passenger in a Car Accident in Maryland?
Maryland follows a legal doctrine called “contributory negligence,” which prevents an injury victim from recovering compensation if his or her own actions contributed to the injury. Therefore, determining fault for an accident is an extremely important process.
Under narrow circumstances, a passenger can be held liable for causing a crash. However, this generally requires an insurer to prove that the passenger’s actions were extreme, such as physically taking control of the steering wheel, or trying to distract the driver with videos. Simply engaging in normal conversation with the driver is generally insufficient to show that the passenger was at fault for a crash.
Even if the passenger was not wearing a seatbelt when the accident occurred, he or she can still potentially be compensated for injuries. Though failing to wear a seatbelt increases the risk of serious injury (and violates Maryland’s seatbelt law), it is not an accident cause and does not constitute contributory negligence.
If another person was at fault for your accident, you may have a valid claim. It may be possible for you to obtain compensation for various costs and losses resulting from the accident, including losses that you are expected to sustain in the future. Our Maryland passenger injury lawyer can fight to recover compensation for your accident-related medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages.
Passenger Car Crash Injury Claims Our Attorney Handles
Car accidents can cause severe injuries, especially when collisions occur at high speed. While drivers have the higher statistical risk of being killed or injured, passengers are also in danger. Side-impact accidents, or “T-bone” collisions, can be particularly dangerous for passengers.
Whether your injuries were minor or severe, we can fight to help you get compensated fairly. Our Maryland lawyer for car accident passengers is qualified to handle a wide range of personal injury claims, including but not limited to cases involving:
- Amputation or loss of limbs
- Broken bones (bone fractures)
- Chest and abdominal injuries
- Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Cuts, bruises, and scrapes
- Injuries that result in permanent scarring, impairment, or disability
- Internal bleeding and internal injuries
- Loss of fingers, toes, or a thumb
- Paralysis, back injuries, and spinal cord injuries (SCIs)
- Road rash injuries, which may occur if a passenger is thrown from the vehicle
- Torn ligaments and dislocated joints
- Whiplash and other soft tissue injuries, such as sprains
- Wrongful death
Maryland Lawyer for Passengers in a Car Accident
When you get into somebody else’s car, you place your life into their hands. They have a duty to protect you and other motorists on the road by driving carefully and obeying the law. If you were hurt in an accident that was caused by careless or unsafe driving, you may have a claim against the person or people who caused the crash.
Talk about your legal options confidentially in a free consultation with our Maryland attorney for car accident passengers. To set up your free legal consultation, contact us online today, or call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.