Ndamukong Suh, the Detroit Lions defensive tackle and Portland native, was recently in the news again – this time for a car accident in Detroit, Michigan. You may remember that the Oregonian made local news in December 2011, when he lost control and crashed on 3rd and Burnside in Portland, Oregon. In that accident, Suh received a ticket but the crash was not investigated, because it reportedly involved no injuries or intoxicants. In July 2012, Saadia Van Winkle, a passenger in Suh’s car at the time of the accident, filed suit for $1 million, alleging negligence, reckless driving, and emotional distress. Van Winkle’s lawsuit reported that she was injured in the crash but that Suh intimidated her into keeping quiet to avoid an investigation by the police. The case will go to trial in March 2013.
Regardless of how this particular case involving a sports celebrity plays out in court, it is a worthwhile reminder that passengers are often injured in car accidents and need medical care, may lose wages while recovering, and suffer emotional pain as well as physical, just as the driver of the car might. Passengers involved in car accidents need to know their resources and rights.
All Oregon private auto insurance policies include Personal Injury Protection (PIP), which provides payment for medical bills, lost wages, and even some household expenses. Passengers are covered by the driver’s PIP policy. If the other driver is liable and you, the passenger, are injured, you can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance policy for any injuries, lost wages, or pain and suffering. The insurance company may deny your claim or offer you a settlement that is too low. If that happens, you should retain the services of an auto accident attorney. You have a right to legal representation, just like the driver of a car involved in an auto accident.
If you were a passenger in a car involved in an auto accident and were injured, we can help. Don’t think that just because you weren’t driving, you have no rights or deserve no compensation. At Dwyer Williams Dretke , our attorneys have experience settling and litigating all kinds of auto accident claims, for drivers and passengers. We offer free consultations, so you can discuss your accident and claim with us at any time. One of our expert Personal Injury Attorneys will be happy to discuss your Oregon Personal Injury case with you. Call us now: 541-617-0555