Passenger Legal Rights in a Car Accident

“I have been there so many times before and NOW I will be there for YOU and your family.”
- Tim Misny - The man that “Makes Them Pay!®”

“Please understand that the slogan, I’ll Make Them Pay!® is not a guarantee of payment. Both liability and real damages must be proven with preponderance of the evidence.” – Tim Misny

Passenger Legal Rights in a Car Accident

If you were a passenger in a vehicle that was in an accident and you were injured , what are your rights? What can you do ensure your medical bills are covered? What happens if you miss work due to your injuries? Thankfully, you have several options to ensure you are properly compensated. I have been a car accident lawyer in Cleveland, Ohio for more than 40 years, and I will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to obtain the most compensation possible. Here’s what you should know.

Steps to Take as a Passenger in a Car Accident

If you are an injured passenger in the at-fault driver’s car that is involved in a car accident, it’s crucial to take a series of carefully planned steps to safeguard your well-being. You can also help protect your legal interests by:

Ensure Safety at the Accident Scene

Prioritize safety above all else. Assess the situation and make sure you, along with others involved, are safe from potential hazards. If possible, move away from traffic and the accident scene to a secure location.

Call Emergency Services

Immediately dial 911 to report the car accident. Request medical assistance if anyone, including yourself, is injured. Timely medical attention is essential for assessing and documenting car accident injuries.

Document the Accident Scene

Use your smartphone or a camera to capture photographs and videos of the accident scene. Focus on details such as the vehicles involved, their license plates, road conditions, skid marks, and any visible injuries you or others have sustained. This visual evidence can be invaluable later.

Exchange Information

Collect contact and insurance information from all parties involved in the car accident, especially the at-fault driver. Exchange names, phone numbers, addresses, and insurance policy details. This information is vital for your car accident claim.

Seek Medical Attention

Regardless of the apparent severity of your injuries, it’s crucial to seek a thorough medical evaluation. Some injuries may not manifest immediately, and a medical assessment will create a record of your condition, which is vital for your personal injury claim.

Notify Your Insurance Company

Contact your own insurance company to report the car accident and provide them with the relevant details. Cooperate with their requests for information and documentation.

Call Me, Tim Misny, Your Car Accident Attorney

Considering the complexities of car accident cases, it’s important we talk right away. I will provide you with legal guidance, ensuring that you get all of the information you need. After a crash, car accident victims greatly benefit from the voice of someone who cares, and has the legal expertise.

Preserve Evidence

Keep meticulous records related to the car accident, including medical bills, police reports, correspondence with insurance companies, and any other relevant documents. As all car accident lawyers can attest, these records will serve as crucial evidence in your car accident claim.

Avoid Talking to the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company

Refrain from discussing the car accident or your injuries with the at-fault driver’s insurance company until we have talked As an experienced car accident attorney, it is important that I talk to their insurance company first.

File a Personal Injury Claim

After we make sure you are ok, I will initiate the process of filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance. I will help you compile evidence, and I work with a team of experts who will assess the value of your claim based on your injuries.

Keep Records of Your Recovery

Throughout your recovery process, maintain a comprehensive record of all medical treatments, rehabilitation progress, doctor’s visits, prescriptions, and any changes in your condition. This documentation will be essential for demonstrating the extent of your accident injuries and their impact on your life.

Negotiate a Settlement

I will engage in negotiations with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to reach a fair settlement for your car accident claim. This process involves assessing the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and more. Insurance companies are businesses, and their goal is to offer you the bare minimum payout. As a personal injury attorney, I have a long, successful history of negotiating with insurance companies.

Consider Legal Action

If negotiations fail to produce a satisfactory settlement offer, we will talk about the possibility of filing a lawsuit. Legal action may be necessary to pursue your car accident case in court to obtain the compensation you deserve.

Attend Legal Proceedings

If your case proceeds to court, make sure to attend all necessary legal proceedings and hearings. I will guide you through this process, ensuring that your interests are well-represented in the pursuit of your car accident claim.

Car accidents can be devastating, and the injuries sustained can possibly change how you live you life. As the passenger in a car that has been involved in a crash, it is important to know what your rights are, and know that help is there for you. I am highly experienced car accident lawyer who will work diligently on your behalf. Call me for your free consultation and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Can a Passenger be Liable?

In general, passengers in a car accident are not held liable for the accident itself. Liability in a car accident typically falls on the driver involved, and passengers are considered innocent third parties who do not control the vehicle’s operation. However, there can be rare situations where a passenger’s actions or behavior contribute to the accident or its severity, which may lead to shared liability.

You may trust the person who you were driving with, and may even be good friends with them. That does not mean they will not try to place the fault on you. This is why, even as the passenger, it is so important to call me after you’ve been involved in an accident. I will make sure you are not blamed for these following acts:

Contributory Negligence

If a passenger’s actions, such as distracting the driver, grabbing the steering wheel, or encouraging reckless behavior, directly contributes to the accident, they could be considered partially at fault. In such cases, their level of responsibility would be determined by the legal concept of contributory negligence.

Assumption of Risk

In some cases, passengers who willingly participate in dangerous or illegal activities in a vehicle, such as street racing or other illegal activities, might be seen as assuming the risk of injury. This could affect their ability to seek compensation for injuries resulting from such activities.

Intentional Harm

If a passenger intentionally interferes with the driver’s ability to operate the vehicle and causes an accident, they could face legal consequences for their actions, including potential liability for any resulting damages.

It’s important to note that these situations are exceptions, and in the vast majority of car accidents, passengers are not held liable for the accident itself. In fact, passengers are often considered victims in car accidents, and they have the right to seek compensation for their injuries and damages from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

Make no mistake, the driver in your accident may very well try to pin the accident on you. You may have been unaware of possible illegal activities going on in the vehicle, or have been caught in the middle when the driver decided to rev the engine and race the car next to them. When money is involved, people will absolutely resort to blaming an innocent party. This is why it is so important you call me. I am here to protect your rights as a passenger!

What if At-Fault Driver Does Not Have Insurance?

If you are a passenger in a car accident where the at-fault driver does not have insurance, you may still have options to seek compensation for your injuries and damages. Here are the steps you should consider taking:

Check Your Own Insurance Policy

Review your own auto insurance policy to determine if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. This type of coverage can help protect you in situations where the at-fault driver lacks insurance. UM/UIM coverage can provide compensation for your injuries and damages up to the policy limits.

File a Claim with Your Insurance Company

If you have UM/UIM coverage, call me first, and we’ll contact your own insurance company to report the accident and initiate a claim. Provide them with all the necessary information about the accident, your injuries, and any other relevant details.

Call Me

For more than 40 years, I have been a personal injury lawyer who specializes in car accidents. I will guide you through the claims process, negotiate with your insurance company on your behalf, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Explore Other Avenues

In some cases, if the at-fault driver lacks insurance, they may also have limited personal assets to cover your damages. I will help you explore other potential sources of compensation, such as suing the at-fault driver personally.

Consider Mediation or Arbitration

If there are disputes or challenges in obtaining fair compensation through your own insurance company, you may explore alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation or arbitration. We will discuss if it is beneficial to resolve the matter without going to court.

Keep Records and Documentation

I can not emphasize this enough! Throughout the process, maintain thorough records of your medical bills, treatment, and any other expenses related to the accident. This documentation will be essential in establishing the extent of your injuries and damages.

Be Prepared for Possible Litigation

While most insurance claims are resolved without going to court, be prepared for the possibility of litigation if negotiations with your insurance company do not lead to a fair settlement. Working with my team of experts, we will determine what you deserve based on your injuries and medical care. I will not stop fighting for you, just because the insurance company wont pay.

The Insurance Company of the At-Fault Driver Steps In

Generally, when two cars collide, someone is likely to be found at fault for the accident. The at-fault driver’s insurance company is responsible for the other driver’s vehicle repairs and medical bills, if an injury occurred. If an injured victim needs to file a lawsuit in order to receive financial restitution, then that insurance company is the first one contacted. Since just anyone involved cannot sue the insurance company directly, the suit is actually filed against the at-fault driver.

What does this mean for you? Well, if you’re a passenger in a vehicle that is involved in a accident and you are injured, you’ll need to file a lawsuit, with the help of an attorney of course, against the at-fault driver and their insurance company. Otherwise, you may not be properly reimbursed for your injuries.

Your Health Insurance or Car Insurance May Cover Your Bills

Depending on your specific healthcare or car insurance policies, you may be able to have them cover your medical expenses initially. When you arrive at the hospital after an accident, you’ll need to provide your health insurance information to the registrar. The registrar will review the details with you to ensure they have the correct information.  Your own insurance will likely cover your expenses initially and then they will reach out to the at-fault driver’s insurance company for reimbursement. You may not be made aware of this process, but in many instances, it does occur this way.

Another possibility is that your auto insurance policy, even though you weren’t driving or even in your own vehicle, covers your medical expenses. The type of policy you have will determine whether or not this is possible. It’s more likely to take effect if the accident occurred while in your own vehicle, even if you weren’t driving or responsible for the accident.

Additionally, you may find that you’re able to get reimbursed from multiple policies. Your health insurance covers the initial costs, then you receive money from your car insurance or the at-fault driver’s. You have insurance coverage for this very reason, so make sure that you go down every possible avenue in order to recoup your expenses.

You Need To Call Me

It can be tricky to receive reimbursement for your medical expenses if you’re the passenger in an auto accident. Since there are many potential options, it’s best that I help you navigate those waters.

Have you been injured in a motor vehicle accident? Call me today, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®


Krystle Banks
Krystle Banks
14:32 20 Sep 23
Christine Filippelli
Christine Filippelli
01:55 18 May 23
DeAndre Merritt
DeAndre Merritt
06:58 23 Mar 23
Jake Ferri
Jake Ferri
23:46 01 Aug 22
I have no case and no one that I need Tim Misney to make pay, just wanted to say the best part of my day is getting to... drive by his billboards. His People's Eyebrow is immaculate and the new billboard with him on the motorcycle is downright bitchin'. Thank you Tim Misney for significantly improving the quality of my more
Jennifer Malainy
Jennifer Malainy
22:44 19 Jul 22
My favorite lawyer. Truly one of the kindest, smartest, and most genuine humans I have ever met. There is only one TIM... MISNY and he will make them pay!! God more
01:16 16 Feb 22
I spoke to Amy and Christine about a possible personal injury case involving my father and they were both helpful,... professional, knowledgeable and responsive. Although they could not help us with our case, I would highly recommend them!read more
Stephen Burks
Stephen Burks
20:12 21 Jan 22
It really comes down to what people say and do when they don't think anyone that matters is listening or they'll get... anything in return.There's the Tim Misny you see on the billboards and on TV, but there's another Tim Misny that I know up close and personal.The Tim Misny I know is genuinely passionate about helping the hard working little folks who get pushed around the big folks. He actually, really honestly cares about people who run into bad luck at no fault of their own. Tim has quietly, out of the sight of cameras and with no fanfare shared generously with the marginalized in our society; single moms, Veterans and others without expecting anything in return.He calls them like he sees them and you wouldn't want to take your troubles to anyone more
mark colucci
mark colucci
14:33 06 Dec 21
Mr. Misny is an angel here on earth and the BEST attorney in Ohio. He has helped my daughter who is in law school when... she needed the guidance most. He is a class act, a great family man, and extremely caring. If you need a lawyer in this field I would HIGHLY recommend. There is no other lawyer, in my opinion, better than Tim Misny.Thank you Tim for being a light in this community!read more
Damon Mitchell Sr .1st. (The Old-Man !!! Pop's !!!)
Damon Mitchell Sr .1st. (The Old-Man !!! Pop's !!!)
02:43 27 Nov 21
Advice on Law question? Also Advise to do more research for Different types of Situations that’s Criminal and Civil... Pursuits!City, State and Above State Level Situation .Pro Se !read more
Gianna Colucci
Gianna Colucci
12:56 04 Nov 21
Mr. Misny is the best! I am a 27-year-old single mother, and I am finishing law school in May at Cleveland-Marshall... College of Law. When I found myself jobless during the height of the pandemic, I knew I needed help. Going into the legal profession, I wanted to be JUST LIKE Mr. Misny because I knew he was the most successful attorney in the industry. I called him up one day just for the hell of it to see if there was anyway he could help me. I never thought such a big name/reputation like him would respond to me. However, when he learned of my financial situation he PERSONALLY called my cell phone within 5 minutes of my email. Not only has he helped me secure employment, but he continues to teach me every single day what it takes to be the BEST lawyer in the legal profession. I am forever thankful for Mr. Misny. He changed my life. He continues to inspire me every single day, and I am so proud that he took me under his wing and is my mentor. He is the most intelligent, kindest, caring attorney I have ever met, and he is giving me the tools I need to be the most successful lawyer I can be o give my four-year-old son, Gregory, the life he deserves. THANK YOU MR. TIM MISNY. I owe my entire future legal career to you because if you didn't take the time out of your busy day to call me that day and help me when no one else would, I would not have been able to stay in law school. You change lives every single day. Keep being you Tim. There is no one like Tim more
Brandon Hagerdon
Brandon Hagerdon
20:53 18 May 21
I met Tim 6 years ago when he was working with my mother. Since then we were able to stay in touch and build a... relationship. I reached out to Tim recently about an opportunity and he was able to connect the dots and help me with this. During this process he gave me his direct number to contact him if need be. If you are in need of any sort of help, I would recommend Tim every more
Jimmie Graham
Jimmie Graham
19:26 30 Mar 21
Tim is hands down the best lawyer in town. He was able to guide me through the legal process and keep me informed at... all stages. Which allowed me to not stress and focus on life. He was able to get me the best deal possible in my court case. One thing that blew me away is that he gave me his direct cell number and answered anytime I had a question which is rare with most lawyers. 100% Misny is the guy! There's a reason he's on literally every billboard in more
Paul McFadden
Paul McFadden
13:29 20 Jan 21
My relationship with Tim goes back over 30 years and is one of great trust and mutual respect. Tim represented me at a... critical point in my life and I will always be indebted to him for the difference he made. He is always just a phone call more
Rick Miller
Rick Miller
18:55 21 Dec 20
If I could reach into the sky just to pull more than 5 stars down for a rating I would! I have used other lawyers in... the past and it was such a pain to reach them when I needed them. Tim is in all honesty there for you. He gave me his personal phone number, and at anytime or any day he answered. If I had to leave a message I could count to 10 and he would already be calling me back. He also was willing to talk on the weekends! He didn’t just forward me to an impersonal automated system or a person with no experience. I will NEVER use another person for legal advice. He’s gracious enough to give me guidance whenever I have a question. No matter how complex. This may sound like an advertisement but I assure you this man was more in touch when I had an issue than my own family. A reasonable and caring family man who will MAKE THEM PAY!Thank you Timread more
PJ Camargo/Authentik Movement Training
PJ Camargo/Authentik Movement Training
01:51 22 Oct 20
I've had the pleasure of getting to know Tim personally over the past 2 years. Beyond him being an incredible lawyer &... 'Jack of all trades ' he is an amazing friend. One thing I love most is that he is family oriented & always making quality time for his loved ones. He inspires me to be a great role model &father figure one day. Tim loves nature & shares the true beauty of nature with how he raises his kids. From biking through trails & having his kids learn how to nurture the family garden - he teaches valuable lessons on how to appreciate the world we live in. I know that Tim is just a phone call away & always urgent to responding no matter the situation. He has given me some of the greatest advice & continously throwing positive energy my way! I'm honored to know him & be a friend of his. He is the true practioneer of changing lives & paying it forward. He has taught me so much in just a short amount of time. Tim Misny, a man that wakes up every single day to make a difference!read more
Scott Plate
Scott Plate
16:49 10 Oct 20
Tim has created a highly visible and effective law practice, and despite his decades of experience, he has never once... forgotten why he got into this business in the first place: to help people. He puts his whole heart into his work, and he works hard for everyone he represents. He has a gift for tuning out the noise and tuning into the core of what his clients need, and making it clear he has heard them. As a result, we feel empowered. He is smart, resourceful, creative, positive, and solution-oriented. His abundant energy makes people feel better, stronger, and valued. He loves and promotes his community; he gives back generously, and he always leaves everything better than he found it. Tim is a true man of action, and a man of his word. Could not recommend him more more
Mike M
Mike M
04:44 09 Oct 20
As a young man, I worked at a local garden center. I came from a family that had too many problems to list. I felt I... was never destined to be anything good. I had always wanted to be a police officer since I was a little boy. But, one side of my family told me that I would never be good enough to do it. Anytime I brought it up, they knocked me down until I started to believe that I could never accomplish my dream. One day, about 20 years ago, while working at that garden center, a very tall man came in and asked me to help him select plants. As we walked around the garden center, he struck up a conversation with me. He was very friendly and kind. I was a skinny teenager in dirty blue jeans and a t shirt. This man was dressed very nicely and I was surprised at how nice he was to me. During our conversation, he asked me what I wanted to do with my life after school. I told him that I wanted to be a police officer but many people told me that I’d never make it. I told him how my very own father said I wasn’t smart enough, brave enough, and I was wasting my time. I remember looking at the ground while I explained this to him. The man stopped and got serious. His voice dropped an octave and he looked me dead in the eyes. He pointed his finger at me and told me that I could make anything of my life that I wanted. He told me that it was up to ME to make my life goals come true. He told me to ignore anybody who tells me otherwise. He assured me that if I studied hard in school and never gave up on my dreams that they would become a reality. He told me to say it. I said “I can do it”. In that moment, I thought that if a complete stranger saw something in me, than maybe it could be true.After I helped him through the checkout and he left, many different employees at the garden center asked me if I knew who that man was. I did not. They told me, “That’s Tim Misny!” Once I figured out “who” Tim Misny was, my confidence grew. It was a pivotal moment. One in which steered the rest of my life. His words stuck with me. I worked hard and obtained my Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice. I was hired by a local Law Enforcement Agency at the age of 21. I was sent to the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy, which was an extremely tough place to be, to say the least. At the Academy, they try to break those who don’t have a determined spirit. On days I wanted to quit, I remembered Tim’s words. Maybe it was fate, maybe it was random chance.... I’ll never know But, Tim Misny helped me have the confidence and determination that was necessary to be where I’m at today. I’ve been a law enforcement officer for over 16 years. I’ve told this story to many of my coworkers.Tim, you’ll never understand how your words that spring day helped shape my future. Your words enabled me to provide a great life for myself and my family. I’m forever grateful.Mikeread more
Eric Evans
Eric Evans
21:02 04 Oct 20
Tim has represented me twice, once 30 years ago and again just recently. I was too young to fully appreciate his... expertise when he represented me the first time (as i was a minor who was the victim of an accident - he won for us, incidentally), but I'm old enough and wise enough now to really appreciate how truly great he is. First off, how many attorney's actually give you their cell phone number and actually answer? I would contend very, very few. Secondly, he has a street fighter mentality combined with a sharp legal intellect which makes you immediately think "I'm so glad this guy is on my side." I was really in a bind recently and Tim came through in spades - he is THE person I would call if I were in trouble or needed help - at a minimum he would know who I should talk to and direct me there (he knows his own limits, which is the key to a wise person) - at a maximum he would take on my fight himself and I'd have full confidence in his ability to deliver the best possible outcome for me - he fights for you like you're family - can't say it better than more
Benjamin Firstenberg
Benjamin Firstenberg
19:32 28 Sep 20
I worked as an intern for Tim the summer of 2017 and it was an unbelievable experience both for my career and personal... development. He treats his employees with a level of respect, appreciation and honesty that I've truly not seen anywhere else that I've worked. We've stayed in touch these past few years and I'm still learning from Tim, whether it be the way he sees the world, his career advice or his commitment to his family. He's an honest man who treats people more
David Shelton
David Shelton
01:13 30 Jun 20
I don't know much about Tim the lawyer, but I do know about Tim the man. Tim the man befriended me as a youth and gave... me the motivation to excel in school. Tim the man wrote the letter that got me into college and got me a helpful scholarship. Tim the man gave me an internship while in college. Tim the man has been a friend to me for over ten years. He makes himself available day or night whether I need advice or just want to talk about the day. There a lot of stigmas about attorneys (and they are earned) but Tim Misny bucks the stereotype. And if Tim the lawyer is half a good as Tim the man, he will live up to his word, and make them more
Mike Mercer
Mike Mercer
00:16 17 Jan 20
WOW! It is the only way to describe the tremendous experience I was afforded, when I contacted and then retained Tim... Misny, to handle a case for me. I had been injured in an automobile accident and needed help and direction, Tim and his staff provided both.The personal attention and clarity of the matter and specifics, gave me a state of comfort and satisfaction that I could have found nowhere else! I will be forever grateful to have Tim Misny as my attorney and my friend!I am a businessman in the Greater Cleveland area and have directed various members of my staffs as well as personal friends to Tim for solutions to their personal injury case needs. All my referrals have been more than pleased with the service and personal treatment they have received from Tim and his staff.I strongly recommend Tim Misny and his associates should you ever need the finest legal services available in Ohio! Trust is his number one priority, trust in knowing that you will be his client second, his friend first!read more
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The Law Offices of Tim Misny

Cleveland Office
3100 E. 45th St.
Suite 444
Cleveland OH 44127
Mailing Address:
Interstate Square I
4230 Chillicothe Rd. Ste 200
Willoughby, Ohio 44094

Disclaimer: All lawsuits are different and the Law Offices of Tim Misny make no representation or promise that it can obtain the same results in other legal matters. Nothing in this webpage constitutes a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of any future legal matter.