A serious single-vehicle car accident west of St. Joseph put five people in the hospital. The crash is a great example of how the injured passengers in a car can recover the compensation they need after an accident from the driver who was responsible for the crash.
Single-Vehicle Crash Sends Five to the Hospital
According to both the news report and the police report, the accident occurred just before midnight of October 12 on Interstate 35, a few miles northwest of Winston, Missouri. The vehicle veered into the median, but then the driver overcorrected. The vehicle crossed back over the roadway and overturned, coming to a rest on the other side of the highway.
Two of the people in the vehicle suffered serious injuries.
At least three of the occupants were likely from the same family – they had the same last name and were from the same town in Iowa. A fourth victim was a minor so his name was not released, but he was also from the same town as the others.
Passengers are Rarely Liable for a Car Accident
There are two important facts for passengers who have been hurt in a car accident to remember:
- All of the victims in the crash can recover compensation from the person who caused the crash, and
- It is extremely rare for a passenger to cause an accident.
Unless a passenger did something like push the driver or grab the steering wheel, they can recover compensation from the insurance coverage of the responsible person.
In a single-vehicle crash, like this one, the responsible party is almost always the driver of the vehicle that crashed.
The Driver’s Insurance Covers the Vehicle
The auto insurance that drivers in Missouri are required to carry covers all of the people in the car, not just the driver. Passengers who have been hurt in an accident can file claims against that insurance policy.
However, there are two complications.
First, the insurance adjuster may pressure family members not to file a claim. The adjuster may say that it is rude to file a claim or threaten to sue someone in your own family, or that the claim will make the driver’s premiums increase. Those premiums, however, will increase anyway because of the accident, and injured passengers deserve compensation for their losses, even if it comes from a family member.
Second, Missouri only requires drivers to carry coverage for $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for bodily injuries. This coverage can run out very quickly, especially when there are multiple injured passengers or when the injuries were severe.
As we will show in a future blog post about car accidents, just because the driver’s insurance coverage runs out does not mean that passengers will have nowhere else to turn: There may still be other sources of insurance coverage that will apply.
St. Joseph Car Accident Lawyers at the Smith Law Office
If you have been involved in a car accident in St. Joseph, Kansas City, Springfield, or the rest of western Missouri, you need legal representation. The personal injury lawyers at the Smith Law Office can help. Contact them online or call them at (816) 875-9373.