What to Do if You Are in an Accident While Carpooling

With the price of gas still high, many people are choosing to carpool to work or school. They can split the cost of a tank of gas as well as other expenses, like highway tolls. Carpooling not only makes financial sense, but it is also great for the environment and gives people company for what would otherwise be boring commutes.

But what happens if you’re involved in an accident while carpooling? Can you sue the driver of the vehicle you were riding in? Or what happens if all the passengers in the car are injured? Below, our Ohio car accident attorney walks through what you need to know.

Document the Accident

In many ways, a carpool accident is no different than any other motor vehicle accident on the road. You need to get information that will help you make an injury claim. We recommend the following:

  • Get the name, license number, registration number, and insurance information of all drivers involved in the crash.
  • Take pictures of the vehicles involved in the crash.
  • Get a picture of anything else that seems relevant, like road defects (missing guard rail, pothole, etc.)
  • Identify any accident witnesses and get their contact information if you don’t already have it.

With this evidence in hand, your attorney can help establish fault for the collision, which is a prerequisite to making a claim. Only a person who shares fault for the crash needs to pay compensation.

Bringing a Car Accident Claim

When carpooling, the following people are usually at fault:

  • The person driving your vehicle
  • Another motorist on the road who hit your vehicle

Under Ohio law, more than one person can share fault, which means the driver of your carpool, as well as another motorist, might be to blame. Fortunately, you can claim both, if necessary.

A claim will identify the facts surrounding the crash and list the losses you have suffered, like medical expenses.

Challenges to Receiving Compensation for Carpool Accidents

Carpool accidents put certain obstacles in the way of anyone seeking fair compensation. One hurdle is that the defendant might not have enough resources to pay a settlement to multiple people.

For example, imagine you are riding in a van with six other people, and a drunk driver hits you. The intoxicated motorist is obviously at fault, so all six of you sue him. However, the only pool of money he has to pay a claim comes from his insurance policy.

Currently, Ohio only requires that motorists carry a minimum of $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per victim, up to a maximum of $50,000 if two or more people are hurt. This means that six people with serious injuries might be dividing $50,000. Unless the defendant has more assets, it’s unlikely you will receive a fair settlement.

Call Groth Law Today

We can help anyone injured in a carpooling accident determine who is at fault and handle the claims process. We will also seek all sources of compensation so you receive a fair settlement. Please call our law firm today to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.