You’ve been injured as a passenger in another driver’s car during an auto accident. What should you do? Situations like this can often be frustrating and worrisome. As a passenger, you were not operating either car involved in the accident. You and your insurance are not responsible for claims or any damage to either car as result from the collision. You are not at fault, yet you are an injured victim following the actions of other drivers.
Am I able to receive any compensation as a passenger in a car accident?
As a passenger injured in an auto accident, you may have a right to receive compensation. This does not rely solely on the role, or if you played an active role, in the accident. In many cases, the process is rather straightforward, as there are no additional factors or complexities to prove, like a driver operating either vehicle in the accident may have to. Ultimately, the most important thing is health and safety, so the passenger should take all necessary steps to determine their injuries and get the compensation they deserve.
As a passenger, you should take charge of your car safety. Whether you are the driver or passenger, always wear your seatbelt. Seatbelts save tens of thousands of lives each year and are designed to minimize the injuries incurred during an auto accident. If injured as a passenger due to not wearing your seatbelt or negligence, one or both driver’s insurance companies may try to position you as liable for your own injuries.
If you’ve been injured as a passenger in an auto accident, here are some recommendations for actions to take:
- Take pictures of the accident scene.
- Record everyone’s information. You may know the driver who you were a passenger for, but you should exchange information with the other driver involved in the accident, as well. It never hurts to get as much information from those also involved in the accident, as you may need information for all involved when handling your injuries. Whether it seems apparent whose fault the accident was, it is always wise to obtain information from both parties. If injuries are severe and you need medical assistance immediately, you may worry about gathering this information at a later time. If you are capable of doing so, collect names, phone numbers, and insurance information from each of the drivers at the time and scene of the accident.
- Request information on the police report. It is important to get a copy of the report, or information regarding the police report, to have for your records. Depending on the injury, you may sustain a long-term impact.
- Journal or keep a record of all medical treatment you receive and expenses you incur as a result of the accident. You should document any lost wages, medical expenses or other financial damages. This will allow you to have information backing up your injuries.
- Do not stress about your insurance premiums increasing. Your insurance is not responsible for your injuries or others involved in the accident since you were not at fault.
- Be patient. There will be a process to determine which driver was at fault for the accident. Your medical expenses and lost wages as a result of your injuries may be stressful, but expenses as a result of the auto accident will fall under the responsibility of that driver at fault.
- File an injured passenger claim following the auto accident. Similar to how the drivers of both cars will need to file accident claims, you should file a claim. Your insurance company is typically not responsible for passenger-related expenses for injuries sustained in a car accident.
- Hire a personal injury lawyer you can trust. If issues arise over the fault of the car accident, neither driver’s insurance company may want to claim your injuries as result of their client’s actions. This is where a lawsuit may come into play. This may be the route needed to insure you reserve the compensation you deserve, and hiring a personal injury lawyer is always recommended. Our trusted team of experienced lawyers guide clients through the difficult process daily.
If you or a loved one is involved in a car accident, as a driver or passenger, it is important to find a team of personal injury professionals you can partner with and trust. Auto accident cases may be worrisome and complex, especially as an injured passenger and victim of the accident. We never want you to feel like you have to go through it alone. Turn to our team of experienced lawyers and we will work with you to get the compensation you deserve.