When people think about car accidents, they probably think about the drivers. However, other people might also be involved, such as the passengers in each car. And when it comes to injuries, everybody can end up suffering. If this has happened to you, you may be fighting for your health and trying to do everything in your power to get the help you need. Still, you may be unsure of your rights as a passenger and are wondering if you can file a claim.
What are your rights as a passenger?
As a passenger, you should know that you can file a lawsuit against whoever is responsible for your injuries. Among other expenses, you are entitled to receive compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Still, it can be difficult to determine who is responsible for your injuries; the best way to establish this is with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.
Who may be liable to compensate you for your injuries if you are a passenger?
As with any car accident case, the negligent driver would be the one responsible for the compensation. That person could be the other driver, the driver of the car in which you were riding, or both. However, if it turns out that the driver in your car is found to be the negligent one, you may find yourself in a difficult situation since it is somebody you know, probably a relative or a friend.
Keep in mind that the claim would be filed against their insurance company and not against them. And the insurance company would be the one who pays. Still, suppose the individual responsible for the crash is a family member. In that case, you might be unable to file a claim under his auto insurance liability coverage, particularly if you are insured under their policy, and you live in the same house. In this case, your only available option would be to file a claim for medical payments if that coverage is available in the policy.
In other situations, you may find that the negligent driver does not have insurance or that their insurance is not enough to compensate you fully. When that happens, you may have to file a claim through your own insurance.
Is there anything that you should do after the accident to increase your chances of receiving compensation?
You can take certain actions immediately after a car accident that may work in your favor when seeking compensation. Here they are:
Get Medical Care
Getting medical care after an accident is crucial. If your injuries are extensive and prominent, going to the emergency room right away is the first thing you need to do. Follow all your doctor’s instructions and any other treatment that is recommended to recover your health. If you are not sure if you suffered injuries or if your injuries are not apparent, you should still get yourself checked out. This is important because many injuries may be internal and may not be obvious to the naked eye. Others may become apparent days or weeks after the crash.
Keep a detailed file of all your medical expenses and document all your doctor’s instructions. Doing so will help avoid disputes with the insurance company regarding the extent and cause of your injuries.
Obtain a Copy of the Police Report
It is important to make sure law enforcement gets to the scene of the accident. They will file a report of the accident outlining all key facts, which is why you should request a copy. Keep it with your medical information to give to your attorney should the need to file a claim arise. Don’t offer your opinion to the police as to who caused the accident. And do not talk to the other driver about this either. Remember that anything you say can and will be used against you.
Document the Scene
If your injuries allow you to remain at the scene of the accident, take the opportunity to document what happened. Take pictures of the vehicles, their damage, and their position. Photograph your injuries and anything else that you believe might have played a role in the collision. There might have been oil on the road, it might have been raining, or tree branches might have been blocking visibility. If you cannot take the pictures yourself, ask someone else to do it for you. Give the pictures to your personal injury attorney.
If there are any people around who witnessed the accident, ask for their testimonies and contact information. This may come in handy should you decide to file a claim against the negligent party, and if you do not collect this information now, you may not be able to reach them when you need them.
Exchange Contact Information
Don’t rely on the driver of your car to obtain the information on the other driver. Be proactive and get the information yourself. Ask for their name, address, phone number, insurance information, and take down all information on the car, including make, model, and license plate.
Get Legal Help
It is vital to engage the services of a car accident attorney to talk about your crash and understand your options of receiving compensation. These are complicated cases in which determining who was negligent is key. Fighting with insurance companies can also be daunting for someone who has never had to do so before. An experienced car accident lawyer will help you determine who was negligent, build a strong case, and fight for your rights.
Schedule an initial consultation; most car accident attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means there will be no out-of-pocket costs for you. This can be particularly beneficial at a time when you may be struggling financially. Keep in mind that personal injury cases are complicated, so you may have many more questions before deciding how to proceed. Click personalinjuryking.com to learn more.