You’re out with a friend, and the friend drives into a telephone pole. You crack your head on the dashboard and need to go to the ER. You get bills for $4,000 for surgery, imaging and physical therapy.

Who pays? Your friend should.

Passenger responsibilities

When you are a passenger, you are almost never at fault in an accident.

There are exceptions to this rule. One is that your behavior somehow contributed to the accident. If your friend is obviously drunk, and you decide to ride with him anyway, you assume responsibility for whatever happens to you.

Another exception is when you are related to the friend, and are living with him. If you are both covered under a single insurance policy, you won’t be able to sue. Insured persons are generally not allowed to file claims against their own policy.

The problem with suing friends

The problem many people have is that it is hard to sue a friend. Friends don’t sue friends, you may say to yourself.

Perhaps your friend is not rich. He certainly can’t pay out of his pocket. If his insurance company pays, his insurance rates are likely to go up. What do you do?

Our advice is to take a deep breath and file a claim anyway. You were hurt in your friend’s car. He is responsible for your safety. This is why he has insurance, after all — to address unfortunate situations just like this.

Filing a claim against a friend should not end the friendship. The claim is not against him personally, but against the insurance company.

If you are still wary of filing a claim, ask yourself: How good of a friend is he? If he is a decent, caring person, he will want to take the hit. If he is not willing, he is probably not your friend.

To discuss how to file a third-party claim, give us a call. We can provide guidance on your way to getting compensated for your injuries.