If you are a passenger in a car accident, seeking compensation via an attorney remains within your rights. You may pursue a claim with multiple insurance companies, from the one that represents the driver of the car you were traveling in, to a third-party driver that may have contributed to an accident.
It goes without saying that a car accident is something that people hope never to experience; however, around 2.3 million people visit hospitals due to auto accidents in the US every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Apart from damaging the vehicle, the accident can also lead to severe emotional and physical torment to the victims. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated 102 people died every day in 2016 due to car accidents.
What Happens if You Are a Passenger in a Car Accident
The actions you take after you’re involved in a car accident as a passenger can determine whether you’ll get compensation for your damages and injuries. As such, experts recommend a few essential steps, including:
- Call the police
- Get a police report copy
- Gather information from eyewitnesses
- Take pictures at the scene of the accident
- If injured, seek medical help
As a passenger, you may have seen the unfolding events from a different perspective when compared to the driver. If the at-fault driver changes lanes or runs a red light, for example, make sure you give the police clear events leading to the crash. You also need this report when seeking compensation from the liable parties.
Determining Who Is at Fault
One of the critical steps of your claim is to know the party to blame. Determining the responsible party can be a challenging task. For example, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration even mandates employers’ responsibilities for car accidents caused by their employees.
While you may have police reports and witness statements, this may not be enough. A lawyer can assist you in several ways. Depending on liability, you may pursue compensation in the following ways:
A Lawsuit Against the Driver’s Insurer
The liable party can be the driver of the car you were in at the time of the accident. You can file a lawsuit against their insurance company. Winning the case means the liable parties may compensate you for the losses and injuries incurred.
Claim Against the Other Driver’s Insurance
If the driver of the other vehicle is responsible for the accident, as a passenger, you can file a claim against their insurance policy. If the two drivers share liability, it’s possible to sue both insurance companies.
Passenger’s Policy Claim
You can file a lawsuit against the portions of medical payments of your policy when you are a passenger in a car accident. The coverage does not rely on liability and can still apply if you were in someone else’s car as a passenger. This kind of coverage does not include loss of income, pain, and suffering.
However, liability coverage may not be available at times. For example, when the accident involves an uninsured driver, the passenger can seek compensation under Uninsured Motorists (UM).
Single Car Accidents
If the accident involves a single car, you can file a lawsuit for full compensation by proving the driver’s negligence. For example, the driver may lose control of the vehicle and hit a bridge due to distractions like using the phone.
In a scenario where an accident occurs due to the driver’s intoxication, and you were not aware, an attorney can attempt to prove to the court that you could not predict the negligence.
Proving Your Injury Claim
If you are a passenger in a car accident, you must prove you sustained damages and injuries. As such, it becomes vital to visit your doctor for treatment and assessment of your injuries.
A lawyer can protect your rights by gathering all the relevant information and evaluating the possible loss. Depending on your situation, an attorney can assist you in seeking compensation for:
- Income loss
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
Awards and settlements depend on your specific case.
Consider Morris Bart, LLC for Help
If you have been involved in a car accident, no matter how minor, you can seek an attorney immediately. This way, you can pursue your claims while continuing with treatment for the injuries you sustained. Although some cases may become complicated, legal help may allow you to focus on your health and recovery.
Our attorneys handle auto accidents. We can guide you through the process and help you to seek the settlement you deserve. If you are a passenger in a car accident, do not hesitate to contact the Morris Bart law firm at (800) 537-8185; we can provide a free consultation and offer more information on the possible solutions to your case.