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Can a Passenger Be Liable for a Car Accident?

Published: May 22, 2023 in Auto Accident, Personal Injury
Contact an East St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer at The Cates Law Firm Today.

If a passenger for any reason grabs the steering wheel or gear shift from the driver and tries to take control of the vehicle in any way, then they have ceased being a passenger and can technically be considered as the driver. Trying to operate the brakes is also considered taking control of the mechanical operation of the vehicle. Under these types of circumstances, a person could possibly be held partially liable for an accident they cause.

Trying to obstruct the vision of the driver or otherwise knowingly interfering with a person’s ability to drive while the vehicle is in motion is also considered negligent behavior. Passengers who exhibit such behavior can be held accountable.

What if I am Injured While a Passenger in Someone Else’s Vehicle?

Passengers who suffer injuries in a car accident may have the right to financial compensation. This could be from the driver of the vehicle they were traveling in or the driver of another vehicle that caused the accident. If the vehicle was a bus, taxi, or rideshare car, compensation may be sought from the driver or the company operating the vehicle in question. The insurance company of the at-fault driver may pay compensation for injuries suffered by others in an accident caused by their insured driver. If they deny the claim or offer an inadequate settlement, you may be able to sue them in court.

In some cases, a passenger may be barred from seeking compensation, such as when they get into a car with a driver they know is intoxicated or otherwise incapacitated. This includes drivers who are drowsy, aggressive and reckless, or who have a medical condition such as seizures or mental impairment. If a passenger encourages a driver to drink and drive, or drive while already impaired, they might be considered partially liable for any accident that happens.

Contact an East St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer at The Cates Law Firm Today

If you were injured in a car accident you believe was caused by a passenger, contact an East St. Louis car accident lawyer at The Cates Law Firm. We can thoroughly investigate the accident and fight to hold the responsible party accountable. Call us at 618-277-3644 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation. Located in Swansea, Illinois, we proudly serve clients in St. Louis, Belleville, East St. Louis, Edwardsville, Granite City, Waterloo, Chester, Carbondale, St. Clair County, Madison County, Monroe County, Randolph County, and other regions throughout Southern Illinois.