Being an injured passenger after a car accident can leave you feeling helpless. You weren’t driving either car involved, and your insurance isn’t responsible for car repair claims. You’re not at fault for anything, yet you still are a victim of injuries caused by the accident.
These injuries induce medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses. What should you do?
Contrary to what someone might think, passengers injured during a car accident that they had no active role in still have every right to receive compensation.
In fact, in most cases, it will be a more straightforward process than that of either driver involved in the accident. The important thing, no matter what role you play in a car accident, is that you take the right steps afterward to ensure a smooth claims process.
You may not have been one of the drivers involved in the car accident, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be included in the information exchange process.
Your insurance will not be responsible for your injuries, as you weren’t at fault. The claims process determines which driver is at fault for the accident at hand. However, the injuries you receive will incur medical expenses, lost wages, and more.
Those are all costs resulting from the crash and will fall under the responsibility of whoever is at fault. Make sure to get both drivers’ information, as well as information on the car accident police report. Whether fault seems obvious or not, it is smart to obtain information from all possible sides to cover your bases.
Just as the drivers will file car accident claims, you should file an injured passenger claim.
Their insurance companies will duke it out to determine who is at fault in the car accident, but your insurance company is typically never responsible for your passenger-injury-related expenses.
You can choose to file a passenger injury claim with only one insurance company if the fault is very apparent. However, if determining fault may not be as cut and dry, you can always file your passenger injury claim with all involved drivers’ insurance companies and allow them to decide who’s responsible for your claim.
Whether you choose to claim your injuries on one or multiple insurance companies, is considered a third-party claim. This term refers to the fact that you are not claiming anything with your own insurance company.
While not the most obvious option, you can consider filing with your own insurance policy. In fact, No-Fault states often encourage passengers to pursue the PIP on their insurance.
If the driver of the vehicle you are in as a passenger is at fault, you can still receive compensation for things like medical bills and pain and suffering. If, for instance, you are in a vehicle with a driver who is under the influence, you can file a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation.
In a car accident event, someone must be deemed at fault. In some cases, drivers may share blame and both be deemed responsible for the accident. When it comes to receiving car accident compensation, this is a crucial step that will determine the outcome.
Liability may rest with the driver of the vehicle you were in, the driver of another vehicle involved in the accident, or both.
If you are a passenger in a vehicle that has been involved in an automobile accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance will, in most cases, be responsible for covering the costs of your compensation. This means that as a passenger, you may be able to seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Similar to being in a car accident as a driver, things get a bit more complicated if the driver responsible for the accident is either uninsured or underinsured.
If the driver is uninsured or underinsured, you may need to explore other options, such as filing a claim with your own insurance or seeking compensation from other liable parties.
There are still ways you can take action against an uninsured driver after a car accident – even if you are just a passenger.
If the insurance companies are in dispute over who is at fault and neither company wants to claim responsibility for your injuries, a lawsuit may be your next option. Filing a lawsuit for additional damages may be the route you need to take to ensure you receive the proper compensation you deserve.
However, even if you do not need to take your claim to court, hiring an attorney is always advisable.
A personal injury law firm with car accident attorneys, like Ortwerth Law, will help guide you through every step of the process. They’ll advise how you should approach your insurance claims and whether or not you should sue for additional damages.
Are you an injured passenger seeking legal representation? To obtain the compensation you deserve, seek legal advice immediately from Craig Ortwerth at Ortwerth Law.
We’ve earned a reputation for aggressive advocacy and dedication to clients’ who have been injured or killed due to an auto or car accident.
We fight for compensation to cover your expenses, including costs for medicines and treatment, and damages for your loss of income resulting from the accident. We use advice from medical experts to understand your injuries and the medical needs they entail to determine how much compensation to seek for you.
Your welfare and best interests are our sole priority, whether we are negotiating a settlement or representing you in the courtroom.
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