When a passenger suffers injuries in a collision, they can pursue compensation for their losses. This is true no matter who caused the crash, even if it was the driver of their vehicle.
Your rights as a passenger in a car accident include the ability to seek and recover compensation for your injuries, medical care, lost wages, and more. You can do this by filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company in most cases. You may not have to sue them, which may be important to you if they are a friend or family member.
Proving Negligence and Liability As an Injured Passenger in a Car Accident
As a passenger in a car crash, you will need to prove that a driver acted negligently and is, therefore, liable for the accident. There are four factors to prove negligence:
- The driver had an obligation to act a specific way, usually because of a traffic law.
- They failed to do so.
- This led to a collision.
- The collision caused you harm, including expenses and injuries.
By confirming the at-fault driver acted carelessly or recklessly, you may be able to prove they caused the crash and hold them responsible.
Recoverable Damages in a Traffic Accident
In general, passengers hurt in a collision can recover many of the same damages as an injured driver. The only exception to this is that they do not require car repairs or a rental car, in most cases. However, they can recover money for other property damages. Such as a smashed phone or broken glasses due to the accident.
The recoverable expenses and losses could include:
- Medical treatment and care costs
- Future medical needs for long-term injuries
- Lost wages and diminished ability to earn
- Related expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Other intangible damages
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 537-8185
Collecting Evidence to Build a Personal Injury Case Against the At-Fault Driver
When you need to build a claim against the driver who caused your motor vehicle accident, you will want to investigate what happened, what led to your injuries, and who contributed to it. This could require evidence such as:
- The crash report filed by police
- Eyewitness statements
- Video of the collision
- A survey of the crash scene
- Photos from the scene
- Accident reconstruction performed by experts
- Medical expert consultation
- Your relevant medical records
- Evidence of your losses and expenses
In many cases, accident victims find that working with a personal injury attorney makes this process much more manageable. They will use the financial resources of their firm and their experience with similar cases to help you seek justice and compensation.
Understanding the Claims Process After a Car Accident
Most car accident cases do not require you to sue the at-fault driver. They focus on:
- Filing an insurance claim based on the at-fault driver’s liability policy
- Supporting that claim with evidence
- Demanding a fair payout
- Negotiating a settlement
This may be a relief if you believe the driver of the vehicle–a friend or family member, in many cases–caused the crash. However, it is unlikely that you will need to sue them and go to trial or demand compensation from their accounts. This is why they have insurance. It covers the expenses of victims like you who suffer personal injuries in an accident they cause.
How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help You
If you choose to work with a car accident lawyer, they will manage your claim from beginning to end. This includes helping you understand your rights and protect them. For example, they know how insurance companies may try to take advantage of an accident victim and reduce their compensation. Your attorney will fight to counter this behavior, seeking a fair payout and justice for you.
They will also handle:
- Answering your questions
- Investigating your accident
- Identifying all potentially liable parties
- Proving negligence and liability
- Navigating the claims process
- Valuing your case
- Suing, if necessary
There are strict deadlines on suing in an accident case, set by your state’s statute of limitations on personal injury cases. Some examples of these in the Gulf South states include:
- One year in Louisiana, Civ. Code Art. 3492
- Two years in Alabama, Code § 6-2-38
- Three years in Arkansas, Code Ann. § 16-56-105, and Mississippi, Miss. Code Ann. § 15-1-49
Other details of your accident case could significantly impact these timelines, though. You could have much less time than is indicated. You can learn more during a free consultation with a member of our legal team.
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We Protect the Rights of Car Accident Victims in the Gulf South
At the Morris Bart law office, we have experience pursuing damages for passengers injured in traffic accidents. We will review your case for free and may be able to represent you based on a contingency fee. We have 16 locations and serve four states, including Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas.
Call (800) 537-8185 today to discuss your legal options and possible financial recovery with a member of our team for free.
Questions?Call (800) 537-8185
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