Can a Passenger Be Liable for an Auto Accident?

Liability is the most important aspect of any personal injury case. No one can win a personal injury lawsuit without proving liability. In an auto accident situation, the court can find the drivers, the car manufacturers, or even the state partially liable for the crash. However, can courts find passengers liable for accidents?


A concert-of-action is when a person’s actions directly result in someone else’s injury. This high profile case is a recent example of a concert-of-action scenario. In this case, a mother sued her son’s former girlfriend for encouraging him to complete suicide via text message. Even though the girl didn’t kill the boy herself, she encouraged him to complete his suicide, thus directly causing his death through concert-of-action.

While other considerations (such as free speech) may operate to eliminate liability in the text-suicide case, the notion of concert-of-action can be highly relevant to issues involving passengers in auto accidents.

Passenger Liability & Concert-of-Action

Some examples that might result in a court finding a passenger partially responsible for a causing car accident through concert-of-action could include peer pressure through which a passenger provokes a driver to behave in a certain way, driving over the speed limit, looking at a picture or video on a phone, or racing. If the driver’s actions result in an accident and injury to another person, it may be reasonable to believe that the passenger’s actions, at least in part, contributed to the injury. Accordingly, a court could find both the driver and the passenger liable for the injuries.

Total Liability & Passengers

There are even circumstances in which a court can find a passenger entirely liable for a car accident. For example, if a passenger grabs the wheel or the driver, causing the car to swerve and strike someone, a court may find the passenger totally liable for the accident.

Pursuing Justice

You shouldn’t have to pay for bills and lost wages caused by another person. If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by another person, you have the right to pursue justice.

Call (602) 842-6762 now for a free consultation concerning your case.

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