Typically, when two cars collide, one driver can be determined to be negligent in causing the accident and can be held responsible for damages to the injured parties. Sometimes, however, even when a car accident only involves only one car, passengers who suffer injuries can still seek compensation from the driver of the car.
Recently, in Chicago, there was a one-car accident on the southwest side of the city. The accident occurred when the car crashed into a telephone pole. The accident occurred early in the morning and is still under investigation. Police have not announced what they think caused the accident.
The car had five occupants. Three of the occupants were taken to the hospital where they were listed as being in critical condition. The two other occupants refused medical treatment.
Passengers who are involved in car accidents may seek compensation for their injuries if the driver breached the duty of care to those passengers by driving recklessly or negiglently. These passengers may turn to the driver to seek compensation. The passenger would need to prove that the driver was negligent in their driving, meaning they did not drive as carefully as they should have. If, however, the passenger did something to distract the driver or cause the accident, this could reduce the amount of damages the passenger could receive.
Having other people in the car can present a dangerous situation. Having an overloaded car can be distracting for the driver and can make driving very unsafe. Drivers must take caution to avoid distracted driving, but when they do not, passengers involved in car accidents may be able to recover for their injuries.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "3 injured in Southwest Side crash," Carlos Sadovi, Feb. 3, 2013