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Who Can Recover Damages In a Motor Vehicle Accident?
- March 29, 2017
An individual who is involved in a motor vehicle accident may be entitled to compensation from the driver who caused the crash. This may be true whether you were the driver of the car that was hit, a passenger in that vehicle or a pedestrian who is stuck by a car or truck. However, this isn’t necessarily an exhaustive list of who can recover damages after a wreck. Let’s take a closer look at all the parties who may be entitled to damages in a car crash.
Occupants in a Car That Gets Hit Are Entitled to Compensation
The driver of a vehicle that gets hit as well as his or her passengers may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages and lost future earnings. They may also be entitled to recoup the cost of modifying their homes or cars to make them easier to use in light of their injuries.
In the event that property belonging to those inside a car that is struck is damaged or destroyed, they may be entitled to recoup the cost of replacing it. Examples of personal property include electronics such as smartphones or laptops.
It could also include sporting equipment such as bikes, surfboards and hockey equipment. Assuming that the item has value, the person who caused the crash will likely be required to replace it or provide a cash equivalent.
Family Members of Those Hurt in a Crash Could File a Lawsuit
Family members of those who are hurt in a crash may be entitled to their own types of compensation. If a mother or father is killed or incapacitated in a crash, a son or daughter may be entitled to compensation for loss of guidance or companionship. The same is true if a husband or wife experiences a loss of consortium with his or her spouse.
Pedestrians May Have Claims in a Motor Vehicle Accident Case
If a pedestrian is hit directly by a car, he or she will be able to file a lawsuit against that driver. He or she may also be allowed to file a claim if a driver took an action that led to a pedestrian getting hurt. For example, a driver may stop suddenly, which causes another driver to swerve and either hit the pedestrian or hit another object that hit the pedestrian. In that scenario, the driver who caused that series of events to unfold is likely liable for the injuries of others.
Homeowners May Recover Damages
Let’s say that a vehicle tears up a homeowner’s grass or crashes directly into someone’s home. The homeowner would have standing to file a lawsuit in an effort to collect any money paid out of pocket to repair the damage. In some cases, the homeowner’s insurance company may decide to sue the driver directly.
A homeowner may also sue a driver if he or she hits property such as a car or boat that is in the driveway. If a swimming pool or hot tub is damaged or destroyed, the driver who caused the crash would likely be liable for the cost of repairing or replacing those items.
The Owner of the Car May Recover Damages
The person who owns the car isn’t necessarily the person who was driving it when a crash occurred. If a car is reported stolen, the owner may be able to recover damages from the person who stole it. In some cases, that person may come after the drive who used the vehicle without permission to recoup costs such as a judgement entered against the owner. He or she may also file a claim to recover any money spent to repair the vehicle after it was damaged in a wreck.
If you have been hurt in a car accident, you may want to talk to an attorney right away. The same is true if you have experienced property loss or property damage in a car accident. Legal counsel may be able to review a case to determine the best way to help a victim protect his or her rights throughout the legal process.