Can a Passenger Be Held Liable for a Car Accident?

Can a Passenger Be Held Liable for a Car Accident?

When you imagine a car accident, you likely believe that a driver is always liable for the collision in some way. Because passengers are not at the wheel, it is difficult to imagine that a passenger could be liable for an accident. Under certain circumstances, they definitely could be held liable for a collision. If you believe that a passenger was at fault for your collision, you can successfully move forward with a claim against them.

Understanding Negligence in a Car Accident 

To better understand if a passenger is liable for your accident, you will first have to understand what negligence is. Negligence occurs when a driver is acting in a reckless or careless fashion. Some of the most common types of negligence include the following:

Under certain circumstances, a passenger could be held responsible for a car accident due to their engagement in negligent acts. Though this is rare, it does happen in some cases.

How a Passenger Could Be Liable for a Crash 

9/20 Can a Passenger Be Held Liable for a Car Accident? Operating the Vehicle: At times, passengers have been found liable for a car accident if they took hold of the wheel while the driver was in motion. A passenger is automatically perceived as a driver the moment they take control of the vehicle in any way.

Encouraging an Unfit Driver: A passenger could be held liable for an accident if they encouraged a driver to get behind the wheel of a car even though they would have been deemed unfit to do so. If a driver was intoxicated and a passenger begged them to take them for a drunk, they could be found partially responsible for the accident and the damages that were incurred. 

Incapacitation of Driver: A passenger could also be liable for a collision if they interfered with a driver of a vehicle. For instance, if a passenger places their hands over a driver’s eyes and this causes them to lose control, they could be held liable for the accident. On other occasions, passengers have been held liable when they distracted the driver on a verbal level.

Passengers can be held liable for their role in an accident, either fully or partially depending on the circumstances. Working with an attorney can help you gather evidence to prove that a passenger played a role in your accident. You should never have to worry about being held liable for an accident that you did not cause on your own.

Working with a Pennsylvania Car Accident Attorney 

The aftermath of a car accident can have a huge and lasting impact on your life. If you believe that another party is liable for your car accident, you should have the dedicated help of a Pennsylvania car accident lawyer on your side. Speaking with an attorney can ensure that your rights are protected and that you identify the liable parties in your accident. Our attorneys at Edelstein Martin & Nelson are here to help you move forward after a serious collision. Please contact an accident attorney in Pennsylvania at (215) 731-9900 to find out how we can help you in your time of need.