Can A Passenger Be Liable For A Car Accident?

Yes, a passenger can be held liable for a car accident. Whether it is wholly or partially depends on the circumstances of the collision.

Determining who is at fault in an accident, or determining liability, is the foundation of any personal injury case. A court could find a driver, the state, another driver, the car manufacturer or even a passenger liable for a car accident.

When a passenger causes an accident or is partially responsible for causing an accident, this is referred to as a concert of action. A concert of action is when a person’s actions directly result in another’s injuries. An example where a court could find a passenger partially responsible for a collision is where the passenger eggs the driver to speed, smoke marijuana or watch a movie while driving.

In those cases, the driver did decide to take drugs or speed, but the passenger encouraged such behavior. It is then reasonable to attribute partial fault for the crash to the passenger. While the driver is still held liable, they may not bear the full liability of the accident if the passenger were to be found partially or totally liable.

There are also instances where a passenger can be found to be entirely liable for an accident. An example would be if the passenger reached for and grabbed the steering wheel, causing the car to strike another vehicle or put their foot over the driver’s foot on the accelerator or brakes.

These situations can be complex and confusing, and it is best to discuss the case with an experience Melaragno, Placidi & Parini car accident attorney.

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