What If a Passenger in My Car Caused an Accident?

It’s widely understood that the driver of a car has a responsibility not to cause an accident or otherwise hurt one of their passengers or another person they come across on the road.  But does a passenger in a car have a similar responsibility toward others?

If your automobile accident was caused by a passenger, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our Fort Worth car accident attorneys.

The Duty of Care

“Duty of care” is the legal term that describes each person’s responsibility towards everyone else. All drivers have a responsibility to act reasonably and safely while they’re driving.

If Driver X is speeding and runs a red light, he or she has acted negligently and failed at that responsibility. In many situations, nothing bad happens, and Driver X speeds through the light and moves on. However, if Driver X crashes into Driver Y, we have a problem. Even though Driver X probably didn’t want to cause an accident, he or she is now responsible for the consequences because he or she has acted negligently and unreasonably. In other words, he or she has acted in a way that most reasonable drivers wouldn’t. The actions of a reasonable driver or person are what define the duty of care for everyone.

Every passenger also has a duty of care. Just like drivers, each passenger must act in such a way that they don’t cause harm to another person in the car or on the road. Reasonable passengers don’t try to distract the driver or behave dangerously. If a passenger does distract the driver or otherwise cause an accident, they might be responsible for the consequences in much that the same way Driver X is responsible in the situation above.

Proving the Passenger Was Responsible

In any situation of negligence, or acting unreasonably, you must prove the following four things:

  • A duty of care
  • A breach of that duty
  • Damages
  • Causation

In a passenger-caused accident, you can prove the duty of care by showing that all passengers have a responsibility not to injury anyone else. The breach of that duty is proved when you show that the passenger acted unreasonably or negligently.  A car passenger might breach their duty by yelling or screaming at the driver, assaulting the driver or another passenger, grabbing the steering wheel, or otherwise distracting the driver or causing an accident.

“Damages” simply refers to what we’ve been calling the consequences of negligence.  That can be proved by showing a physical injury to you or someone else, or showing the damage to your car.  Lastly, to prove causation, you must show that the passengers actions caused the accident that led to the injury.

Get Help from Skilled Fort Worth Car Accident Lawyers

If you believe that you have been injured in an accident caused by a passenger, it is in your best interest to consult with a Fort Worth auto injury attorney.

At Zinda Law Group, our car accident attorneys have helped countless crash victims recover compensation for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Call us today at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our skilled Fort Worth car accident lawyers. Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.