One question that gets asked often is if a passenger can be liable for a car accident? Typically, in car accidents the courts find drivers, the car manufacturers, or even the state partially liable for the crash. While it does not happen often, it is possible for the passenger to be liable in an auto accident.
The duty of the driver is to be alert, undistracted, and unimpaired. If a driver believes that a passenger can cause an accident, it is the driver’s responsibility to pull over until they can get back on the road safely.
The Duty of the Passenger
The driver of a vehicle is responsible for what occurs while driving. That said, a passenger can be held liable for an accident if they interfere with the driver. Some examples of reasons a passenger could be held liable are:
- Sharing texts messages with the driver
- Pressuring the driver to drive intoxicated
- Encouraging reckless driving
- Fighting or distracting the driver.
Passenger Liability & Concert-of-Action
Concert-of-action comes into effect when a person’s actions directly result in someone else’s injury. Situations that a court could find a passenger partially responsible for a causing car accident through concert-of-action could include peer pressure through which a passenger provokes a driver to behave in a certain way. Also driving over the speed limit or having the driver look at their phone could be considered concert of action. If the driver’s actions result in an injury to another party, it may be reasonable to believe that the passenger’s actions, contributed to the injury. Therefore, a court could find both the driver and the passenger liable for the injuries.
Total Liability & Passengers
It is possible for a passenger to be held entirely responsible for a car accident. For instance, if a passenger grabs the wheel of the car and causes the car to injure someone. In this instance the court may find the passenger fully liable for the injury.
Houston Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been in a car accident give us a call today. We can answer any questions or concerns you have regarding a car accident liability. Kirkpatrick Law is here for you. In any accident the most important thing to do is to seek medical attention. Afterwards, contact a car accident attorney. Eric Kirkpatrick has a reputation of helping families recover the compensation they deserve after an accident.