Can a Passenger Be Held Liable for a Car Collision?

passenger buckling seatbelt

In a car collision case, the Texas court may order the at-fault driver to pay for the victim’s medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering; along with punishing them with punitive damages. These consequences may serve as a great financial toll, which is why an at-fault driver might make a desperate attempt to place blame on a passenger who was present in the vehicle at the time of the crash. Read on to discover how a passenger might be held liable for a collision and how a seasoned Houston, Texas car accident lawyer at White Personal Injury can help in a case of false accusations.

Under what circumstances might a passenger be held liable for a car collision?

Primarily, a driver has the duty of operating a vehicle with an abundance of caution. However, a passenger also holds some sort of responsibility by ensuring that their actions and behavior due not distract the driver from their safely operating a vehicle.

So when faced with a personal injury lawsuit, a driver may argue that a passenger was distracting and thereby contributed to the car collision event. Examples of what a driver may claim are as follows:

  • A driver may claim that a passenger was singing, talking, or playing music too loudly.
  • A driver may claim that a passenger was jokingly taking control of the wheel or pushing the driver’s foot down on the gas pedal.
  • A driver may claim that a passenger pressured them into reckless acts (i.e., speeding, racing, tailgating, running red lights or stop signs, etc).

What should I do if I am being falsely accused of fault in a car collision?

If a driver makes any of the aforementioned accusations against you, and you believe such blame to be ungrounded and false, then you must diligently push forward a counterclaim. Understandably so, it is particularly uncomfortable to fight back if the driver in question is a family member or close friend. But you should not feel obligated to help them out by shouldering some of the blame.

This is why you must perform your due diligence while still at the scene of the collision. While you may be left in shock by the traumatic event you were just involved in, you must make an effort to collect evidence that will support your future case. For example, you may collect witness testimonies who can vouch for your responsible behavior in the moments leading up to the crash. Or, you may retrieve a copy of the dash camera footage that points to the same idea.

It is worth mentioning that such evidence may simultaneously help you in receiving the financial compensation you require for your incurred injuries and damages. At the end of the day, your claim requires a competent Houston, Texas auto accident lawyer in your corner. So please get in touch with us at White Personal Injury.

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