Yes, that is possible. Passengers have the right to ask for compensation if they’ve been hurt in a crash, and that’s applicable to both one-car and two-car accidents.
If caught in a one-car accident and the driver is determined to be at fault, the passenger can file a claim with the driver’s insurance company. And because liability insurance is required here in California, the injured passenger is almost certain to receive financial compensation–unless the driver is uninsured or the insurance company invalidates the claim. If that happens, then the passenger should get a lawyer to help him/her pursue the claim.
The situation is slightly different in a two-car accident. Again, the passenger reserves the right to file a claim with the at-fault driver, whether that’s the driver of the car the passenger was in or the other driver. If both drivers are at fault, the passenger can seek compensation from both of them through their insurance policies.
It should be noted here that the compensation the passenger can collect from both drivers must not exceed the amount of the claim. That rule is meant to prevent fraudulent people from monetizing on such incidents.
The process of filing a passenger’s claim in an auto accident is similar to most PI cases. Possible complications can arise if the passenger was found to be negligent of his/her own safety by not wearing a seatbelt or grabbing the wheel. For those cases, the legal right of a passenger to compensation may be questioned.