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Can passengers file insurance claims after car wrecks?

On Behalf of | May 16, 2023 | Personal Injury

Drivers in North Dakota are required to carry insurance, which means that there should be coverage available for those involved in a crash. Someone who is driving to work and then gets hit by another motorist could, therefore, potentially file an insurance claim in response to the situation.

Most people recognize that drivers often have coverage available to them after a wreck. In fact, those familiar with the no-fault system in North Dakota may even recognize that they may need to make a claim against their own no-fault coverage and the liability coverage of the other driver.

However, drivers are not always by themselves in a vehicle when a collision occurs. There may be passengers in the vehicle who are not part of the immediate family of the person driving. Can those passengers file an insurance claim after a crash as well?

No-fault coverage may lead to a complicated claims process

North Dakota requires both liability and no-fault insurance, which can make the process of securing compensation after a crash as a passenger a bit more complicated. How the injured person handles the claim will generally depend on their personal circumstances.

The rules for no-fault personal injury protection coverage declare that responsibility for the crash does not determine who pays. Everyone’s no-fault coverage will be the first insurance that applies to their losses. Most drivers will carry at least $30,000 in no-fault coverage that applies to the insured party as well as all of their immediate family members. The policy will also cover anyone in the vehicle.

Typically, the driver will be the one whose insurance pays for a passenger’s injuries. In major crashes, the situation might involve extreme expenses for the driver as well, and they may not have enough insurance to cover everything.

Sometimes, serious injuries will lead to court

When injuries are permanent and cost someone thousands, they may need to step outside the no-fault insurance system and file a civil lawsuit. Occasionally, it may be necessary for those hurt in a wreck to bring a claim in civil court because insurance will not fully cover their medical expenses, lost wages and other provable crash-related losses.

Knowing when it is possible to file a claim is a key first step for those affected by a recent wreck. Seeking legal guidance usually is as well.