Are Passengers Ever Responsible for Auto Accidents?

What happens if a passenger grabs your steering wheel? What if an argument turns to a physical assault? What if a passenger pressures you to do something unsafe? If you ever find yourself hurt because of passenger interference, you’ll want to know if you can hold the passengers accountable for their actions.

Accepting Responsibility

Under the law, there are certain situations where a passenger is held responsible for an auto accident. The passenger would almost certainly be held liable for any physical interference that causes a crash. If a passenger grabbed the steering wheel or assaulted the driver, they would almost certainly hold the majority of the liability for the crash.

Peer pressure is another potential factor in accident liability. If a passenger or multiple passengers pressure the driver into making a dangerous or illegal maneuver, they would hold a portion of the liability. The assumption is that the driver would not have engaged in risky behavior if the passenger was not there.

Comparative Fault

Determining the passenger’s degree of liability falls on the insurance companies. California is a comparative fault state, meaning that insurance companies investigate every accident and determine what percentage of the fault each person holds.

For example, if someone grabbed the steering wheel and swerved into traffic, they would likely be 100% responsible for the crash. If the driver succumbed to peer pressure, they might be just 50% responsible for the accident.

Comparative fault is an intricate and highly subjective process. That’s why it’s important to hire an experienced car accident attorney to fight for your rights and recover the compensation you deserve.

If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in an auto accident, you might have a case. If you’d like to schedule a free case consultation with an experienced Sacramento injury lawyer from Piering Law Firm, please send us an email or call (916) 476-2399.

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