Carpooling is a great way to save money and the environment but can present a problem when the passenger is involved in a carpool accident.
A car accident can cause significant change in the lives of those affected. While the rise in carpooling services has made travel easier for daily commuters, carpool accidents can be stressful and injurious to passengers. In such situations, working with a carpool accident lawyer can be beneficial in enabling you to fight for compensation for your injuries.
Liability in a carpool accident
Being a comparative negligence state, California will assign varying degrees of fault to all parties involved in a carpool accident. Typically, the at-fault driver is liable in carpool accidents. However, in cases where the driver was employed by a company to offer ridesharing service, the employer could be liable for some or all of the resulting damages.
You can get both economic and non-economic damages for your carpool accident. Economic damages are hospitalization costs, lost wages, loss of earning potential, ongoing treatment costs, etc. Non-economic damages include trauma, emotional distress, and pain and suffering.
Carpooling. Is it beneficial?
Carpooling has many economic and environmental benefits. Carpooling saves money because you aren’t always filling up. In addition to the cost of gas, driving to work everyday causes wear and tear to a vehicle which leads to maintenance costs and repairs.
Reducing the carbon footprint is an environmental benefit of carpooling that some people enjoy. It is estimated that by carpooling only two times a week, 1,600 pounds of greenhouse gases can be kept out of the air.
Although, in the unfortunate event of a carpool accident, carpooling can become quite the problem. Your case is further complicated when there are injuries. What are your rights if you are an injured passenger in a car accident or the other way around?
What Are My Rights As A Passenger in a Carpooling Accident?
In the event of a carpool accident in California, the driver is typically liable. There are very few circumstances where a passenger is to blame. If there is another vehicle involved and the driver of that car was negligent or reckless, then that driver is at fault. In very rare cases is the passenger at fault for these sort of carpool accidents. Sometimes, if the driver doesn’t have sufficient coverage to cover both accidents, the passenger involved may claim from the other driver’s car insurance. Always speak with a personal injury lawyer for any questions you may have.
If neither driver is found to be at fault, the passenger can file a No-Fault Claim or Personal Injury Protection (PIP) against the driver to get legal compensation. The case should generally be settled after completion of medical treatment.
The insurance company will conduct an investigation to determine the at-fault driver. They do this by reviewing police reports, obtaining statements from all involved parties, and speaking to witnesses who may have any information regarding the carpool accident. The use of an attorney can benefit in strengthening your chances of a successful claim.
Common Types of Carpool Passenger Injuries
When the carpool accident is serious, the injuries associated with it are typically serious too. Sometimes they can even be fatal. They can affect virtually any part of the body, especially if you are not wearing a seat belt. The most common types of car accident injuries include:
Traumatic Brain or Head Injury
A traumatic brain injury occurs when the brain is injured by an outside force causing the brain to be damaged. The injury can range from a concussion to a skull fracture, or a traumatic brain injury. Symptoms do not always appear at the scene of the crime. The symptoms can include:
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty concentrating
- Trouble swallowing
Depending on the severity of the injury treatment may include medication, therapy and/or surgery. A head injury is dangerous and requires immediate medical attention following any car accident.
A person can suffer broken legs, broken ankle, broken foot, ACL injury, torn meniscus, and other knee injuries as the result of a car accident. Injuries to the legs can have a victim unable to move the same for the rest of their lives.
These injuries are one of the most common types of injury associated with car accidents due to whiplash. A neck injury could also be a sprain or strain, a herniated or bulging disc. There are many different types and they can range from mild to severe. No matter the case, take the time to see a medical professional as soon as you can.
Back & Spinal Cord Injury
Back and spinal cord injuries often result in life-lasting problems. They cannot be cured and typically require treatment that can last for years or be lifelong. The recovery takes a long time as well.
Back injuries from a car accident are the result of damage or trauma to the muscles, bones, or other soft tissues in the back. Common complications include chronic pain, disability and requires surgery for treatment usually.
Arm or Shoulder Injury
Arm and shoulder pain after a car accident could be the result of a neck injury. Important nerves that run through this area of the body and they can become damaged causing chronic pain, random numbness, and other symptoms that the victim will have to deal with. Broken bones, bruising and strains and sprains are common injuries to the shoulders and arms. Severe injuries may require surgery and rehabilitation.
Speak With A Car Accident Lawyer In California Today!
If you were carpooling in California and were involved in a car accident where you received injuries, contact Krasney Law today! For many years we have helped the victims of serious and catastrophic car accidents recover compensation in the golden state of California. Our car accident lawyers know that monetary compensation cannot undo the pain and suffering a car accident victim and their family experience. Call us as soon as possible following your car accident at (909) 380-7200 for a free consultation.