Arizona had over 121,000 car crashes reported in 2021. These accidents injured close to 52,000 people and killed over 1,100. When injuries result from a collision, each driver involved may bear a portion of the fault; other parties may share the blame as well. At-fault parties are liable for paying damages to those injured.
Road or weather conditions, animals crossing the road, and driver error can cause crashes. Can a passenger be liable for a car accident as well? Sargon Law Group explains.
Can a Passenger Be Liable for a Car Accident in Arizona?
A passenger travels in a vehicle but isn’t responsible for vehicle operations. In most car accidents, passengers are innocent victims. However, you may be surprised to learn that, in specific cases, passengers can contribute to causing collisions.
Interacting with passengers is a common reason for distracted driving, but the driver is still responsible for controlling their vehicle. To hold a passenger liable, you must find evidence that they directly influenced the collision. An experienced car accident attorney from Sargon Law Group can investigate your accident and hold all guilty parties accountable.
How Can Passengers Cause Collisions?
Various laws exist regarding passenger liability. A passenger can usually be liable for a car accident in the following scenarios.
Disobeying Safety Rules
Passengers should do their part to help drivers avoid accidents. Safety guidelines require passengers to use their seatbelts; disregarding these guidelines by standing or blocking the driver’s rear view mirror may contribute to causing a crash.
Encouraging an Unfit Driver
Some conditions prevent people from driving safely, such as:
- Alcohol or drug use
- Extreme fatigue or drowsiness
- Medical conditions
Encouraging someone to speed or drive recklessly or allowing or encouraging unfit drivers to get behind the wheel of a vehicle is irresponsible behavior. It can result in liability actions against the passenger.
Interfering With the Driver
Drivers should always keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the steering wheel. Passengers may intentionally distract drivers through conversation or arguments. Passengers can also hit drivers or cover their eyes. This interference might cause a collision.
Operating the Vehicle
Although drivers are typically responsible for vehicle operations, passengers can influence a car’s behavior. Examples include grabbing the steering wheel, engaging the brakes, or shifting gears. The passenger can be liable for a car accident if they take the vehicle’s control away from the driver.
How Can an Attorney Help?
Car crash investigations determine why accidents happen and assign portions of fault to all contributing parties. Injured accident victims can then seek compensation for their damages from these parties.
Holding passengers liable for causing collisions is very rare. A competent car accident lawyer will speak to witnesses and investigate the crash to find evidence that the passenger contributed to the accident so you can seek damages from them.
Why Choose Sargon Law Group if a Passenger Is Liable for a Car Accident?
Located in Phoenix, Sargon Law Group focuses on personal injury cases. We will use our experience, negotiation and litigation skills, and knowledge of applicable Arizona laws to hold guilty parties liable. Our case results prove that we outperform other firms.
If a passenger is liable for your car accident, contact Sargon Law Group 24/7 for a free consultation. Call us at (623) 225-5635 or submit our online form.