Those who travel by car understand that there is a certain level of risk that driving entails, because, despite safe driving habits, motorists cannot control the behavior of other drivers. However, in some cases, drivers can modify and adapt to traffic conditions to ensure their safety or mitigate their harm. In contrast, passengers usually maintain a total lack of control to avoid an accident. Those who suffer injuries as a passenger in a Massachusetts car accident can file a lawsuit against the responsible parties. In some instances recovering compensation is more straightforward for passengers because they usually do not share liability for the accident.
Massachusetts law provides passengers with rights and remedies if they suffer injuries because of another’s negligence. In effect, passengers maintain the same rights as the non-negligent driver, and in some cases, they have additional rights. Generally, a passenger in a car accident may be able to sue the at-fault driver for damages. Further, if the driver of the vehicle the passenger was traveling in was responsible, that driver may be held liable as well. In essence, a passenger can file a lawsuit against any responsible party that contributed to the accident or damages.
Drivers will often claim that the passenger somehow contributed to the accident or their damages. However, in most cases, a passenger cannot be responsible for the driver’s negligent actions. For instance, a driver may claim that they became distracted because the passenger was talking to them. Even if that is the case, responsibly hinges on the driver’s decision to take their attention off the road.