Intoxicated Passengers Injured In A Vehicle Accident Have Rights

Most people recognize that, when an individual gets behind the wheel while intoxicated and is involved in an accident, the outcome is big trouble. However, there is less conversation about the impact intoxication has on a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the collision, if any. While every situation is different, for any accident victim who has found themselves in this type of situation, there are important factors to keep in mind.

The Law is the Law

If you were hurt as a passenger and you were intoxicated at the time of the accident, do not let anyone tell you that you cannot file a claim. The law is clear that it is illegal to operate a vehicle while intoxicated. It is not illegal to ride in a vehicle while intoxicated. 

Therefore, you do not have to be worried about legal ramifications if you file a claim for your losses. If you have been injured, you have the legal right to seek damages, so do not let anyone tell you any differently.

Insurance Companies Use Angles

It is clear that being an intoxicated passenger is not against the law, but it does not mean that the insurance company might not try to use this against you. Insurance companies often handle cases with the goal of reducing the value of the claim to as small an amount as possible. 

As such, do not be surprised if they do not try to state that your intoxication may have somehow caused or exacerbated your injuries. Keep in mind that, if this is successful, it could impact the value of your claim, so make sure you have your own representation to safeguard yourself.

Be Upfront

It would seem the best way to avoid any hurdles with the insurance company over your intoxication would be to simply omit this information. However, the opposite is true. After the accident, if you visited the hospital, there is a good chance you had your blood drawn. There is also a possibility that the presence of alcohol was detected. Once the insurance company receives your medical record, they will receive this information. 

The most important thing to remember about an insurance company is that everything you say can and will be used against you. So, if you lie about your intoxication, the insurance company can use this intentional omission against you. It is always best to tell the truth; your attorney can handle it from there. 

Having an attorney is always important, but in this instance, it is especially important. Make sure you speak with an attorney as soon as possible.

To learn more, contact a car accident attorney.