In a traffic accident, an at-fault driver has an obligation to compensate for damages of a victim according to the percentage of negligence. However, think about the case where a guest passenger is injured when riding on a car of the at-fault driver. Does the at-fault driver have an obligation to compensate for damages of the guest passenger? In other words, does the victim have a right to claim compensation when he/she rides on a car of the at-fault driver? Say you ride in a coworker’s car on your way home from work and get a serious injury because your coworker drives too fast and crashes into a utility pole. In this case, coworker’s insurance company sometimes offers a reduction of payout because you rode in his car by his kindness. Is the offer of the reduction legal?
The answer is NO. The amount of compensation a guest passenger deserves is not reduced. Exceptionally, there are cases where the amount of compensation to a guest passenger is reduced. The compensation is curtailed in the case where a guest passenger rides in a car while he/she is notable with risk factors increasing the possibility of a traffic accident. Or, if a guest passenger creates a situation increasing the risk of an accident, a reduction may be granted. For example, if you make your friend take you home by car even if you know he gets drunk, the amount of compensation you deserve will be reduced by about 20%. But generally, if you just ride on a car of your friend and get injured in a traffic accident which he/she causes, you have a right to get full compensation.