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At some point in your life, you have probably ridden as a passenger in a vehicle, whether it was for a social outing or a ride-share. Following a collision, most people focus on what happens to the drivers. However, drivers aren’t the only ones injured in a car accident. Passengers can also suffer catastrophic injuries that negatively impact their life. As a passenger, you have the legal right to be kept safe by motorists on the road. That said, if you were injured in a car accident while riding as a passenger, you may wonder what exactly your legal options are. Please continue reading to learn who you can pursue legal action against to recover monetary compensation for your damages and how a seasoned New York City Car Accident Attorney can help you get the justice you deserve. 

Can I Sue if I was a Passenger in a New York Car Accident?

If you’re injured as a passenger in a car accident, you’re entitled to pursue compensation for your economic and non-economic damages. Many accident victims hesitate to seek compensation when they’re injured while riding as a passenger with a friend or family member. However, it’s essential to understand that drivers, pedestrians, and anyone else on the roadways have a duty of care to keep themselves and others safe. If you are not responsible for an accident, you should not have to bear the consequences alone. If a driver breaches their duty of care, adequate compensation should be provided to those who have suffered injuries and losses due to their negligence. Ultimately, it’s crucial to understand that filing a claim against an at-fault driver as a passenger is the same as filing any other car accident claim.

Who Can Be Held Liable?

New York is a “no-fault” insurance state, which means that individuals injured in an accident will generally be reimbursed by their insurance company for damages regardless of who was at fault for the cause of the accident. To file a claim against an at-fault driver, you have to reach the no-fault statute threshold. Individuals are restricted from pursuing legal action unless their injuries meet a specific dollar amount.

If your injury qualifies as a “serious injury” under the law, you can pursue a third-party claim to hold the at-fault driver responsible for their negligence. If the driver of the vehicle you were riding in as a passenger was responsible for the accident, you can pursue legal action against them. For instance, if they ran a red light and T-boned another vehicle, they can be liable for your injuries. If another motorist on the roadway fails to adhere to the rules of the road, they may be held liable for your losses. For instance, if another motorist was texting and driving, causing the collision, they can be held accountable for your damages. While passengers are not typically held liable for a car accident, they can sometimes bear liability.

For more information on the legal avenues available for injured passengers after a car accident, please don’t hesitate to contact a trusted attorney from the legal team at Swerling Law. We are prepared to help you hold responsible parties accountable for their negligence.


To a man who was assaulted at a restaurant and sustained a traumatic brain injury.


Settlement to a barista who slipped and fell on a defective stairwell while working for Starbucks who sustained back injuries requiring multiple surgeries in 2012.


Settlement to a woman who was assaulted and sustained back/hip injuries in 2015.


To a man who sustained back injuries when he was a passenger in the car that rear ended another car.


Verdict to a high school student who was assaulted by a school dean during her lunch period dislocating her hip in 2014.

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