When you are involved in a car accident, whether you are driving or just a passenger it can be traumatic. That’s not even including any pain and suffering that you can incur from injuries. You may feel like you have few options as an injured passenger, but there are things that you can do to help you collect compensation.
In any accident, it’s important to participate in the full investigation. Give a thorough and honest account of the incident as well as you can. Always make sure to include your contact information and get a copy of the police report for your own records.
If you are unsure of how to proceed after an accident you may want to talk to a personal injury specialist like the professionals at Craig, Kelley & Faultless. Get the legal advice that you need to ensure that you get everything that you need from the insurance companies.
Even in states that are “no fault”, fault will still have to be determined to be able to pay out to passengers. The reason behind the determination is so that the insurance company that is covering the driver at fault will be the one that you need to deal with. It could be determined that either the driver of the vehicle you were in, the other driver or even you were at fault.
While the fault is being determined, it is vital that you do everything that you can to gather evidence about your injuries. See your doctor immediately after the accident even if you have no obvious injuries, just to get checked out. Follow all of your doctor’s instructions and keep a record of any medications or therapy sessions that you have been prescribed.
File A Claim
Once fault is determined after the investigation you can file a claim with the insurance company for injuries, lost wages or pain and suffering. You also have the right to make a claim under your own insurance policy using the passenger rider. This payout will only cover medical bills, however.
Every insurance company is different but they are all interested in paying out the minimum coverage, so be prepared. Have all of your documentation and witness statements in order. Many claims will be initially denied, so the more organized and thorough you are the better chance you have of receiving fair compensation.
If you, as a passenger have been found to share any of the fault for the accident, it may affect your compensation. Passenger liability can include things like if you grabbed the wheel or caused some distraction to the driver of the vehicle that you were in, and you could end up sharing some of the responsibility. In these cases, the fault is determined by percentage. For example, if it is found that you are 10% liable as a passenger for the accident then that 10% will be taken out off the top of any settlement that you receive.