Along for the Ride: Passenger Rights in Vehicle Accidents


07 November 2016


Passenger Rights

Although we are aware of the risks, driving is just a routine activity many of us do automatically, like brushing our teeth or grabbing a cup of coffee. We climb in the car intent on the destination or lost in thought, which is why automobile accidents are so jarring. Even a mild fender bender seems to stop everything in its tracks, instantly negating the importance of everything we were thinking or saying. Whether the situation results in serious injuries or none at all, it demands immediate attention. Passersby jockey to catch a glimpse of something interesting; police officers fill out reports; tow trucks haul away damaged cars. Sometimes, there aren’t even minor injuries, but, obviously, not everyone is so lucky.

Trusting ourselves is one thing. Trusting someone else is entirely different. Every time someone gets into a passenger seat or the back seat, they’re trusting that the driver will get to the destination safely. Some passengers are happy not to have the responsibility of driving; others have a hard time giving up control. Regardless of your feelings, where does that leave you if you’re injured in a vehicle accident? The accident certainly wasn’t your fault, so what exactly are your rights as a passenger?

Recovering for injuries suffered as a passenger in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident is really a claim against an insurance company rather than against the driver himself. Passengers can file a claim under the bodily injury or liability insurance coverage of the driver or owner of any vehicle responsible for causing the accident. If that is insufficient, there may be coverage available under uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist policies. Injured passengers are also allowed to file a claim under their own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and/or Medical ­Payments (Med Pay) policies. With all these funding possibilities, passengers should be able to secure compensation for their damages, though in no instance are they allowed to collect any more than the total value of their claim.

Many passengers are initially reluctant to seek compensation for damages because the driver is a close friend. It’s important to note that in most situations, the driver will not even know of the claim because it will be settled by lawyers and insurance companies before it gets to trial. The strain on any personal relationships should be minimal unless the insurance company does not act in good faith to resolve the claim and it must be litigated instead. Even at that time and although the driver will be named in the lawsuit, the true conflict is between the driver’s insurance company and the passenger. There are special rules that apply when the passenger is related to the driver and shares the same household. In most of these cases, the passenger is barred from collecting under the driver’s liability policy because he or she is an “insured person” and such persons are not permitted to file a liability claim against their own liability policy. A claim can still be brought against other drivers who are at fault for the accident.


The seat next to the driver has a reputation for being the most dangerous one in the car, even having been referred to as “the death seat.” Of course, it is more common to have one passenger than several, so the front seat is occupied more frequently than the rear seats. There is also some truth to the idea that in a crash a front seat passenger has nothing to stop him or her from being ejected through the window, whereas the driver has the steering wheel. Or, at least, that used to be the prevailing line of thought. The last few decades have brought about major advances in safety that have reduced the probability of being seriously injured while riding in the front seat. Seat belts, airbags, and crumple zones equally benefit drivers and front-seat riders.

According to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, adults over age 55 were more likely to die in a crash while seated in the back than in the front – even if they were wearing seat belts. The study found that adults in the rear were more likely than adults in the front to sustain chest injuries, and there was some evidence of an elevated risk of head and neck injuries for restrained women seated in the rear compared with the front.

The IIHS also recently performed front-overlap crash tests of seven small SUVs and found that certain models may have a big gap in safety between drivers and their passengers. The seven models received good ratings after the front driver’s side corner of the vehicle hit a barrier at 40 miles per hour, but only one model – the 2016 Hyundai Tucson — rated as good when the same test was performed on the front passenger side. While three models received acceptable ratings and two models received marginal ratings, the 2015 Toyota RAV4 was rated as poor. The IIHS suspected that the difference was partly due to a greater emphasis on the vehicle frame and structure for the driver’s side, but there is no excuse for inferior passenger protection.

Read also: How To Shop For A Car With Your Teen Driver?

If you were a passenger in a vehicle involved in a collision and were seriously injured as a result, or if you lost someone you love in such an accident, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who can examine the circumstances of your case and advise you of your rights. Personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay them unless there is a settlement or verdict in your favor.

Passengers with serious injuries are entitled to appropriate and thorough medical care for their physical, emotional, and psychological injuries suffered as a result of the accident, as well as full compensation for their pain and suffering, mental anguish, property damage, and lost wages. It is also critical that you at least consult with an attorney before speaking with an insurance company investigator or adjuster. Their job is to spend as little money as possible while quickly settling a large number of claims, and they are well-trained in the fine art of getting you to make statements that can come back to haunt you later. Since you are bound by what you say, it is often wise to let an attorney speak for you.

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Criminal Defence Lawyer

How To Find The Best Criminal Defence Lawyer In Sydney

Sydney in Australia is a bustling metropolis known for its vibrant culture, stunning landmarks, and thriving legal system. However, navigating the complexities of the legal world, especially in criminal cases, can be overwhelming and daunting. When confronted with criminal allegations, it becomes essential to enlist the assistance of a proficient and seasoned criminal defense attorney.This article will explore how to find the best criminal defence lawyer in Sydney, ensuring you have the right advocate when you need it the most.Key Factors to ConsiderSeveral critical factors must be considered when seeking the best criminal defense lawyer. By considering these factors, you can make a well-informed decision and guarantee that your legal representation is characterized by top-tier quality.1. Experience and ExpertiseFirst and foremost, it is crucial to find a criminal defense lawyer with substantial experience and expertise in handling cases similar to yours. Criminal law encompasses a wide range of offenses, from drug charges to white-collar crimes and everything in between. Look for a lawyer specializing in your case's specific area of criminal law. This specialization ensures that your lawyer is well-versed in the nuances of the law relevant to your situation.2. Reputation and Track RecordA lawyer's reputation and track record often indicate their competence and success in the courtroom. Research the lawyer's background, read client reviews, and seek referrals from friends, family, or trusted acquaintances. A lawyer with a solid reputation for achieving favorable outcomes for clients is a strong indicator of their ability to represent you effectively.3. Communication and AvailabilityEffective communication is paramount in the attorney-client relationship. It is essential to select a lawyer who demonstrates accessibility, responsiveness, and a willingness to provide regular updates on the status of your case. The best lawyers in Sydney are skilled advocates and effective communicators who can guide you through the legal process.4. Fees and Billing StructureDiscuss the lawyer's fees and billing structure upfront to avoid surprises later. While legal services can be costly, it's essential to understand the cost of representation and how billing will work. Some lawyers offer flat fees, while others bill hourly. Be sure to clarify payment expectations to ensure a transparent and mutually beneficial arrangement.5. Personal CompatibilityYour relationship with your criminal defense lawyer should be built on trust and mutual respect. During an initial consultation, assess whether you feel comfortable working with the lawyer. Your attorney should lend a receptive ear to your concerns, comprehensively respond to your inquiries, and offer guidance tuned to your requirements and preferences.6. Resources and Support TeamSuccessful criminal defense often involves a team effort. In addition to the lawyer's skills, please inquire about the support team they have in place. Paralegals, investigators, and administrative staff can all play crucial roles in building a solid defense for your case.ConclusionNavigating the criminal defense lawyer in Sydney can be complex and challenging, but having the right lawyer by your side can make all the difference.By taking into account elements such as the lawyer's experience, their standing in the legal community, their ability to communicate effectively, their fee structure, the compatibility of your working relationship, and the strength of their support team, you can identify the attorney who will passionately champion your rights and deliver the legal representation you are entitled to receive.Remember that each case is unique, and finding the right lawyer tailored to your needs is paramount. With thorough research and careful consideration of all the factors, you can take the first step toward securing the best possible legal defense in Sydney.Read Also:3 Personality Traits of a Successful and High-Ranking Criminal Lawyer5 Reasons Why You Should Take A Criminal Lawsuit Seriously7 Ways Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You

Well-Settled Law Firm

Golden Rules To Establish A Well-Settled Law Firm

It is not easy to start a law firm because it involves a proper legal procedure. Many people make a mistake by getting a building for the law firm and doing the legal process. But once they begin with the business, it does not work well. Ever wondered why? Many reasons would fail the law firms because money is not everything.Mind mapping is a common technique used by professional businessmen widely. They think about everything from getting a building to getting a client for their well-settled law firm. When it comes to mind mapping for business the lawyer should focus on a niche.They should practice in one type of legal case. If a family lawyer has more experience in divorce cases than land disputes, he should open a well-settled law firm to resolve divorce cases only.Read Law Firms in Dubai and how to get a license to practice here. Here Are Golden Rules To Establish A Well-Settled Law Firm: 1. Modern MarketingSecondly, the law firms do not know the importance of marketing. Nowadays, word of mouth is an old technique of marketing. They should hire an advertising agency that can provide them with digital marketing to upgrade their presence on social media and websites. People say that communication is the key. It is true.Some clients do not even pay their bills on time, yet they are not reminded by the lawyers, even. For any business, the cash flow shall be constant. You need to communicate with clients not only for their legal cases, but also tell them to act professionally when it comes to payments.You should also keep them informed about the business expansion in terms of issuing newsletters, biweekly. Some clients love to hear from the businesses.However, last but not the least, it is important that you need work in a team to achieve the optimum level of your business. Therefore, if you do not know anything about marketing, you may hire a digital advertising agency. If you need help to decide your niche, you must consult with your legal professional friends. There is a solution to everything once you start focusing on business. 2. Labour and Employment Lawyers Labour and Employment Lawyers are an important part of any well-settled Law Firm. Business, employment, and profit opportunities are the three major deltas of a trade-in in any country. You need resources to start a business, you need a workforce to manage operations and you need opportunities to continue the operations. Let’s throw the light on Labour and Employment Lawyers here. 3. Consult the Labour and Employment Lawyers in the BeginningMany people are mistaken when it comes to opening up a business. They are of the view that finance is everything in the business. They ignore the legal aspects of the business. However, one cannot start a business professionally if he does not have a proper office space to begin. Only, the freelancers can begin to work from home and earn a handsome amount of money.To set up a business requires a lot of understanding at different levels. The best way to begin with a business is to consult labour and employment lawyers before investing money. The initial investment does not have to be too big. In fact, you can begin at a small scale even if the business lawyers are there to help you out.To keep up with the strong market value, you will need a good business lawyer for your company. When a business starts growing, the competitors try to make it fail by hook or crook. Therefore, the legal services should always be on board. You need to hire a lawyer who would know the corporate world and the laws regarding any business.Being a businessman, you should also know about the real estate property law, because at the end of the day, you have to buy the property. The legal consultants can only help you in choosing the best space that they can manage legally.Moreover, labor and employment lawyers have more responsibilities than contract specialists. They have to manage the disputes between management and the labor force. They also have to register the business for an audit. Hence, lawyers should be the utmost priority of any business.To find a good lawyer in your locality, you should visit a few law firms nearby. It is important to learn about their reputation and check their previous records. After shortlisting a few, it is important that you should meet those lawyers in person.Some of them have a good reputation with bad communication skills, but others have communication skills and a good reputation too. Find a lawyer who would understand your business requirement.Labour and Employment Lawyers in UAE, having the important more than in other countries. UAE is one of those countries where mostly the employees are expatriates, not the local residents.Therefore, a large workforce has to be managed. If you will not manage a large workforce using the law then it will create serious issues. Therefore the UAE Labour Law which is popular in the world is revised quite often to have better control and offer a favour to people working in UAE. This is not for the employees only. It is all about the Employers and Employees equally.Read Also:What Personal Injury Law in California Involves A Comprehensive Guide to Law Firm Finance in 2021 How To Choose A Practice Management Software For Your Law Firm

false drug charge

How To Defend Yourself Against False Drug Charges?

The issue of getting falsely accused by another person has become quite common today. And, if it’s not taken care of as quickly as possible, the case might end up ruining your life.So, how do you take care of it?Well, when it comes to defending yourself against a false drug charge, it’ll be ideal for you to hire a lawyer quickly. Or else, things might get out of your hands pretty quickly.Apart from that, you should also…1. Stay Calm And ComposedGetting falsely accused of something you didn’t do can be quite devastating. And, if you are a rather emotional individual, it might also take a toll on your psychological health.However, you shouldn’t worry too much about it.Hire a qualified Appeal Attorney in Atlanta, tell them your side of the story, and stay as calm as you can. Let them do their job and help them only when you are asked to.And, don’t try to defend yourself without anyone else backing you up. Getting too angry and talking in a rash way can hurt your case quite a lot.2. Gather The Required EvidenceOnce you are done consulting with your attorney, you should start working on gathering evidence. And, do it as much and quickly as you can.Also, it’s recommended for you to keep a record of each and everything in a file as well as in a digital format. So, even if you lose something, you’ll always have a backup for it.Besides, after you’ve been falsely accused, you should also try maintaining a journal. It’ll be something like a diary to you where you have to write all of your daily events accordingly.And, please don’t meet with the person who has falsely accused you. And, if you want to talk to them one last time, make sure to take your advocate with you.Related Resource: What Are the Penalties for Drug Possession in Arizona?3. Challenge The Credibility Of The AccuserOnce you meet your attorney, you should start talking to them to create a strategy for the case instantly.The core essence of the same quill expend on more than one factor, though -The type of false accusation you are dealing with, and If you are going to criminal court or a civil one.However, in most cases, your responsibility is going to be to protect yourself and make sure that the other person’s lying. So, how are you going to do that?Find out if the person has a history of lying or not.Keep an eye on their other motives for accusing you.For example, sometimes, people can sue their husbands for “child abuse” so that they can get sole custody over their children. Hence, if you can find something as such in your case, you’ll be able to win the same pretty easily.4. Find Your Supporting WitnessYour accuser is going to get a witness to prove their part. So, if you want to win your case, it is best to find someone for your plans as well.While you are collecting evidence, just find someone who was present at the scene and took note of your actions. You can ask them to come to the court and attest to your innocence.And, if they play their part well and truly, winning your case will be a piece of cake. But, just before you get into the court, make sure to tell them what you want them to say, and all.5. Finding A Way To Turn It AroundMaking a false accusation, which may lead to defamation, is illegal in the state of Atlanta. So, if you can prove that you’re innocent, you can easily throw them in a law-related pothole.However, if you want to prove the same, you will need to demonstrate that -The defendant has made a false allegation about you.They have acted purposefully and negligently to accuse for their personal benefit.They have talked about something that’s caused material or reputational harm to you.As long as you can prove that the defendant has acted against you with actual malice, you can easily win the case. Talk to your lawyer to know more about this context.Read Also:Is DUI A Serious Crime?10 Tips for Saving on Prescription Drug CostsAre you aware of Belviq – a Weight-Loss Drug?