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Here’s When a Passenger Can Be Held Liable for a Car Accident

Two cars in the immediate aftermath of a rear-end collision

An At-Fault Passenger

Car accidents can be devastating, and when they occur, it is crucial to know who may be held liable for the damages caused. In South Dakota, a passenger in a vehicle could be held responsible for an accident. While this isn't always the case, there are certain instances when the passenger may bear some of the legal responsibility for what happened. This blog will explore when a passenger in South Dakota might be found liable for a car accident and how such liability is determined.

When Can a Passenger Be Held Liable?

In South Dakota, a passenger can be held liable for a car accident when they were either complicit in the vehicle's operation or when they were in some way responsible for the driver's behavior leading up to the accident. If the passenger knew that there was an issue with the vehicle (such as low tire pressure, a malfunctioning brake light, etc.), they could be seen as partly responsible for the accident if it occurred because of that issue. Additionally, if the passenger was encouraging or enabling dangerous behaviors in the driver (such as texting or drinking and driving), they may be partially accountable when an accident occurs.

How Much Fault Will a Passenger Be Assigned?

The extent to which a passenger may be held liable for an accident in South Dakota will depend upon the circumstances of the case. In all cases, liability is determined based on the degree of fault assigned to each party involved in the crash. The court will evaluate the evidence and place blame accordingly when deciding who should be responsible for compensating those injured or affected by the accident. It is essential to understand when a passenger may be held liable for an accident so that any potential liabilities can be minimized and the proper steps are taken when filing an insurance claim or taking legal action.

Reach Out to a Car Accident Attorney For Help

Ultimately, when a car accident occurs in South Dakota, it is essential to consider whether a passenger could be found liable in addition to the driver. While it is not always the case, there are specific scenarios when a passenger may be assigned a degree of blame and thus held responsible for their portion of the damages caused by accident. With this in mind, seeking legal advice when filing an insurance claim or taking any other action after an accident is vital to ensure that all responsible parties are held accountable.

If you've been injured in a car accident caused by a negligent party, don't hesitate to contact the team at Whiting Hagg & Dorsey, LLP. Our team is committed to helping clients achieve the results they need.

Learn more about how we can help or schedule a consultation by calling (605) 519-6136 or visiting us online.