Car Accidents — Initial injury lawyer meeting — Questions in passenger cases

Your personal injury lawyer will need to learn a lot of things about your lawsuit and will ask you a lot of questions when you first meet.

If you were a passenger in a car involved in an car accident and the driver was at fault, then the questions may include some of the following things.

Your relationship with the driver of the car

What is your relationship to the driver of the car you were in?
Why were you in the car?
Was the driver a friend?
Was the vehicle a commercial vehicle?
Was the driver a professional?
Have you had prior trips with the driver?
Did you have any prior special knowledge of any problems?

Do you realize that you will be suing the driver of the car you were in?
Do you mind suing a friend or acquaintance?

Problems with the car

What was the condition of the car you were in?
Were there obvious defects with the car?
Were you told of hidden defects?
Did any defects become apparent during the trip?
Did you make any complaints?
Were any warnings given?
Have you made prior trips in the car?

Driver impairments

What was the condition of the driver?
Did the driver appear sober?
Did the driver appear tired?
Was the driver taking any medications?
Was the driver using any drugs?
Did you know that the driver was taking medication or using drugs?
Did you see the driver before the ride?
How long was the ride prior to the accident?
How were the driver’s pre-accident actions?
Were there warnings of any driver impairments?
Could you escape?

Seatbelts and safety devices in the car

Were seatbelts being used?
Where were you seated?
Did that seat have seat belts?
Were they available and usable?
Were they being used?
Did they function properly?
Were there air bags in the vehicle?
Did they function properly?

Your actions and distractions

What, if any, were your actions?
Did you see the accident coming?
Were any warnings given?
Were you and the driver talking?
Was the radio on?
Were the windshield wipers operational and used?
Was anyone in the vehicle smoking?
Did anyone interfere with the car’s operation?

Additional insurance coverage considerations

Do you have a personal policy?
Is there a policy for a member of your household?
If there is a policy:

  • Does it provide extra No-fault benefits?
  • Does it provide uninsured motorist benefits?
  • Does it provide underinsured benefits?
  • Do you have an excess or umbrella policy?
  • Do you have spousal coverage?

Commercial vehicles

Were seatbelts available?
Were you required to stand?
Did the vehicle come to an unusual, sudden and violent stop as opposed to the usual rough ride?
Did the vehicle stop at a safe place to disembark?
Did the taxi have available seatbelts?
Did you strike the taxi partition?
Was the vehicle overloaded?