Cell phones are not the only things that distract drivers; passengers can also be distracting. It is not always possible to drive without anyone else in the car, but can another person be held liable when an accident happens?
While certain passengers, like babies, cannot be at fault for distracting drivers in some circumstances, others might be held negligent. Drivers who behave recklessly and do things like speed through red lights can be held liable for causing accidents. However, passengers can also act in ways that lead to crashes, including:
- Bringing alcohol and drugs into the vehicle, sharing those with the driver, or acting recklessly because they were under the influence.
- Getting into an argument and becoming physical, such as hitting or kicking the driver.
- Interfering with the vehicle’s operations by touching things on the dashboard, pulling the emergency brake, etc.
- Repeatedly distracting the driver by turning up the music or talking loudly.
- Suddenly grabbing the steering wheel and taking control while the car is moving.
How Can I Prove That a Passenger Caused My Car Accident?
To prove that a passenger was liable, there must be solid evidence. Evidence might include a police report, eyewitness testimony, and photos of the scene. In some cases, accident reconstructionists are used to recreate what happened.
How Do Pennsylvania Car Accident Laws Apply to These Cases?
Pennsylvania has a two-year statute of limitations for filing car accident lawsuits, and since these cases can take time, it makes sense to start the process as soon as possible. If it is proven that a passenger was entirely at fault for what happened, their auto insurance provider may pay for your financial losses.
Comparative negligence plays a role in personal injury cases. Pennsylvania has a modified comparative negligence rule that can apply when more than one party is found to be responsible for a crash. So, if a court decides that you and the passenger were both at fault, the damages awarded will be impacted.
Contact a Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC for a Free Consultation
Holding a passenger liable for a motor vehicle accident can be complicated, but an experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyer at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC can help. Call us at 215-569-8488 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation today. Located in Philadelphia and Abington, Pennsylvania, as well as Wilmington, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the surrounding areas.