Colorado Springs Passenger Injury Lawyers
Passengers in vehicles can suffer severe, life-altering injuries in an accident, whether they were riding in a bus, van, motorcycle, or an Uber or Lyft. The passenger has zero control over the vehicle, having placed trust in the conduct of the driver, with the expectation that he or she will exercise reasonable care on the road. When a driver operates a vehicle in an unsafe manner, an innocent passenger may be seriously injured, and require months or years of treatment. Even if your driver acted responsibly, if another reckless driver injured you, you may still be able to recover compensation in an accident claim.
If you or a loved one was injured as a passenger, you need to ensure you have legal representation to help you seek fair compensation. Passengers are often forgotten during accident claims, but our team at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., can stand up for you after a collision. Our Colorado Springs passenger injury attorneys are dedicated to getting clients the highest possible amount. Let us guide you through the claims process and advocate for your best interests. Call us at (719) 475-2555 for a free case evaluation.
Like all vehicle occupants, passengers can suffer a wide range of injuries in a collision. Common passenger injuries include:
- Head trauma and brain injuries: A blow or jolt to the head in a crash can fracture the skull or cause traumatic brain injury, with long-term consequences for victims.
- Neck and back injuries: Passengers in a traffic crash can suffer whiplash, sprains, strains, herniated discs, or damage to the spinal cord, which can lead to a range of health issues or paralysis.
- Fractured bones: The impact of a collision can fracture bones in the body. Bones frequently broken in car crashes include the pelvis, the fibula (lower leg), the femur (upper leg), the clavicle (collar bone), and the bones of the arms, wrists, and ribs.
- Facial injuries: Passengers can sustain disfiguring facial injuries, including broken bones and severe lacerations that may require plastic surgery.
- Soft tissue injuries: Tears or strains of muscles, ligaments, and tendons can cause long-term pain and diminished quality of life.
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death in Colorado, as stated by the Department of Transportation (DOT). Statewide, in a recent five-year period, the total number of wrecks annually increased by 9.8%. Fatalities increased by 34.4% in that same time period.
Traffic collisions have many contributing factors, and many of them involve driver error. Common causes of vehicle wrecks in which passengers are injured include:
- Speeding: For more than 20 years, speeding has been involved in approximately one-third of all traffic deaths, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The faster a vehicle is traveling, the more time and distance it needs to stop, and the greater the impact of a collision.
- Aggressive driving: Drivers who speed excessively, weave erratically in and out of traffic, tailgate, cut other drivers off, and run red lights and stop signs put others on the roadway at risk.
- Drunk driving: Approximately one person every 52 minutes is killed in a drunk driving crash in the U.S., as stated by NHTSA. In the most recent year for which statistics are available, more than 10,000 people lost their lives because of alcohol-impaired driving.
- Drug-impaired driving: It is against the law everywhere in the U.S. to drive under the influence of any potentially impairing drug, for the simple reason that it puts others in harm’s way. This applies to marijuana, opioids, methamphetamines, prescription medications, and over-the-counter drugs that can impair ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.
- Distracted driving: Driving distracted is risky behavior that caused more than 3,000 traffic deaths in a recent year, according to NHTSA. It can be defined as any activity that diverts attention away from driving.
- Drowsy driving: Fatigue can significantly impair driving abilities. In a recent year, there were 91,000 police reported crashes involving drowsy drivers that led to approximately 50,000 people injured and nearly 800 fatalities, as estimated by NHTSA.
How passengers can pursue compensation for their injuries and other damages will vary, based on the facts in the case.
- Single-Vehicle Accidents: When a driver causes a collision, the driver must be held accountable. As a passenger, you have the right to seek compensation from the person who was driving the vehicle you were in – usually, from his insurance policy.
- Multi-Vehicle Accidents: A crash involving several vehicles poses a more complex problem. As an injured passenger, you may have the right to file a claim against more than one of the drivers involved. If the driver of the vehicle in which you were a passenger had some degree of responsibility for the collision, along with another driver (or drivers), each of these parties may be partially liable.
- Vehicle Driver Is Not Registered Owner: In some cases, the liable driver was not the registered owner of the car, truck, van, SUV, or motorcycle you were in. The legal process may involve seeking compensation from the vehicle's owner if it can be established that they were aware that the driver posed a risk to others due to being an unsafe driver, drunk, or drug-impaired.
- Rideshare Accidents: If you were a passenger in an Uber or Lyft, you have the right to file a claim for compensation against the rideshare provider, along with any other driver who contributed to the collision.
- Bus Accidents: If you were a passenger on a city bus, church bus, school bus, or tour bus that was involved in an accident, a legal claim could be filed against the bus's owner, operator, driver, and other responsible parties.
Passengers have the same rights as anyone else in auto accidents, and you can recover compensation if a negligent driver caused your injuries. The statute of limitations in Colorado allows you three years in which to file a civil claim for an auto accident. While this may appear to be an adequate amount of time, the process of collecting evidence should start as early as possible.
In addition, your attorney will need time to calculate the full costs of your injuries, consult with your doctors and accident experts, and negotiate with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. At The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., we can handle every aspect of your case so that you can focus on recovering.
After an accident, you can recover compensation for:
- Economic Damages: These damages include the costs of medical care and treatment, lost wages, lost future income, lost earning capacity, and other hard costs.
- Non-Economic Damages: The non-economic damages include compensation for pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, and emotional anguish.
The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., represents car accident victims throughout El Paso County, including injured passengers. We are well-versed in handling complex accident claims. You can trust that your case will be in the hands of a talented Colorado Springs car accident lawyer who will go the distance to help you achieve justice. We take cases on a contingency-fee basis, charging no legal fees unless we are successful. Reach out to us at (719) 475-2555 for a free case evaluation and learn what we can do for you.