Who Can a Passenger in a Car Accident Sue in New York?

Passengers and drivers are equally susceptible to injuries in a car accident. No one likes to think about it, but sometimes a person must sue a friend or loved one in order to recover the compensation he or she deserves and needs to move on from the accident. If you would like more information on who a passenger in a New York car accident may sue, please read on, then contact one of our experienced Westchester County car accident attorneys today.

What rights does a passenger in a New York car accident have?

You can sue the at-fault driver of any vehicle if you were injured as a passenger in a car accident in New York. Every motorist has a duty of care to keep others safe from an unreasonable risk of harm. Negligent drivers can be held financially responsible when their actions cause injuries to others. Thus, a passenger may have just as much right to sue a taxi, bus or chauffeur as a friend, spouse or other loved one. Bear in mind that most likely the car insurance company will pay the settlement.

How can a passenger hold the driver of the car they were riding in liable?

As a passenger, you must prove that the driver of the car in which you were riding owed you a duty of care and breached the duty. Then you must prove that the breach was a direct and proximate cause of your injuries and that you sustained damages as a result of the accident. Though by no means mandatory, it is best if you can prove that you sustained one or more of the following injuries due to the negligence of the driver of the car in which you were riding:

  • Permanent injury of an organ or body part
  • Any significant limitation of a bodily function
  • Bone fractures
  • Injuries that force the passenger to be on disability for at least 90 days

Needless to say, you must satisfy the burden of proof against any and all of the defendants in your personal injury claim. Keep in mind that the other parties’ lawyers may try to shift the blame.

How might a passenger share fault in a New York car accident?

Admittedly, it is rare for a passenger to be found partially at-fault for a car accident. However, the defendant’s lawyers may argue that you share fault because you:

  • Refused to wear a seatbelt
  • Rode with the driver knowing he or she was impaired
  • Told the driver the road was clear when it was not
  • Intentionally distracted the driver

Having one of our skilled Westchester County auto accident attorneys on your side can help ensure that the correct parties are assigned fault and that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled.


Hausman & Pendzick effectively represent victims of negligence in Westchester County and across the state of New York. Contact us today for help.

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