There are many reasons that you may find yourself in the passenger seat or even the back seat of your vehicle. Maybe you’re teaching your child to drive, or a designated driver is taking you and some of your friends home after a night out.
These are common scenarios for vehicle owners, but what happens if your vehicle is involved in a crash and you aren’t behind the wheel? Are you still able to file a compensation claim?
You Can File Damages Claims for Both Injuries and Property Damage
Even if you weren’t driving when the crash happened, you can still file a compensation claim just as you would if you were behind the wheel. Because Oklahoma is an at-fault state, the liability falls on the driver who caused the crash.
That means that you and other passengers who were injured can file claims against the at-fault driver for your medical bills and lost wages, and as the owner of the vehicle, you also may be able to recoup vehicle repair expenses.
You Can Also File a Claim Against Your Insurance if Necessary
Unfortunately, many Oklahoma drivers are uninsured or underinsured. That means they may not have enough coverage—if any at all—to pay for your accident-related damages, let alone the damages of anyone else in your vehicle. But if you purchase underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage, you can get compensation through your auto insurance policy to make up the difference or to give you money, period.
What If Your Vehicle Was Involved in a Crash and You Weren’t in It?
If your vehicle is damaged in a crash and you weren’t in it at the time of the accident, you may be able to file a claim to get money to repair the damage if the other driver was at fault. However, if the person driving your vehicle is at fault, the other driver may be able to file a claim against your insurance policy, especially if the person you loaned your vehicle to is uninsured or underinsured.
What if the Person Driving Your Vehicle Was at Fault for the Crash?
Although a case where a driver in another vehicle caused an accident involving your vehicle may be straightforward, a case where the person driving your vehicle is at fault for the crash can be more complex. You may be able to file claims against your auto insurance as well as the insurance policy of the person driving your vehicle, especially if they have a separate policy from you (i.e., the at-fault driver wasn’t your child or spouse).
If you have MedPay coverage, you also may be able to recover money from it, regardless of whether you were driving your vehicle or even if the person who was driving was at fault.
Report the Crash to Both Insurance Providers Right Away
Because both your auto insurance policy and the policy of the person driving your vehicle may be involved, it’s important to report an accident where you weren’t driving your vehicle to both insurers right away. Although you may recover compensation from just your insurer, it’s possible to get compensation from both, but only if you report the crash within the required timeframe, which may be as short as 48 hours after the crash.
Our Lawyers Can Help You During These Potentially Complex Situations
Accidents involving more than two policyholders or drivers can get messy, especially when the fault for the crash isn’t clear-cut or well-established. And although Oklahoma is an at-fault state, it’s also a modified comparative negligence state, which means that compensation can be reduced if a claimant is found to be partially responsible for their accident.
At Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers, our Oklahoma City car accident attorneys can review all the facts of what happened and determine your best path towards getting full compensation if your vehicle is involved in a crash and you weren’t behind the wheel. Contact us today for a free consultation.