Passenger Injury Claims After a Car Accident

Feb 08, 2021 09:19 PM EST | Ernest Hamilton

Passenger Injury Claims After a Car Accident

(Photo : Passenger Injury Claims After a Car Accident)

When you're involved in an accident as a passenger you can take paths to receive just compensation. This compensation could come in the form of damages for your medical bills and other accident-related costs. The liable driver's insurance can pay the costs described above for another person or people that are injured in a car accident where you're found liable.

Third-Party Claims

Injured passengers can make a claim against the policy of the driver or owner of the car they were riding in at the time of the accident. They also can file a claim against the policy of the driver or owner of another vehicle involved in the accident.

Both of these claims are considered third-party claims because they are being made on an insurance policy that doesn't belong to them. Passengers sometimes have to make multiple claims when insurance coverages are insufficient. 

All claim owners need to be responsible for the accident. Passenger victims also won't be able to recuperate more than the claim is worth. The insurance policies will work in tandem to fulfill the claim. 

Steps Passengers Can Take After An Accident

The information you gather after being involved in an accident as a passenger will be vital. Auto accident lawyers advise that you collect the insurance information from your driver and all of the drivers who were a part of the accident. 

Being involved in an accident can be frightening but reconciliations can be made for your injuries. Collect a copy of the accident report and information from any witnesses because it will help with filing claims for your injuries.

Be aware that car accidents are bewildering. Even if you feel fine, you may have suffered injuries like whiplash or other internal injuries. It will support your claim if you visit a doctor as soon as you can, especially if you're experiencing any symptoms. 

Passengers Filing Insurance Claims

Once you've sustained injuries as a passenger in a car accident you'll want to file a claim with the driver's insurance policy. Personal injury protection, medical payments, bodily injury, and no-fault policies may provide the coverages for passengers. 

When the accident is the fault of the other drive you can file a claim against their insurance. States dictate a minimum amount of insurance coverage for each vehicle you own. It's possible that passengers won't be eligible if their injuries do not meet certain statutes as set by no-fault laws. 

When the fault of the accident is unclear it can be difficult to go through the other driver's insurance. The number of drivers and the lengthy process of proving who's at fault complicate matters even more. Seek the experienced counsel of a car accident attorney for support if necessary.

Another last resort for passengers in an accident could be filing a claim against their own personal injury protection policy. Your coverage could provide the necessary financial support in your time of need. However, this may be a last resort because your insurance premiums could increase. 

FAQ About Passenger Injury Claims After A Car Accident

The outcomes of an accident can be unclear.  The following questions can help you through the process of filing the right claims and getting the compensation you deserve as an injured passenger: 

Can passengers sue in a car accident?

Injured passengers are legally permitted to file an insurance claim. The claim you're able to make may depend on the state you're in. When necessary these passengers can file personal injury lawsuits to recover damages.

What types of damages can passengers claim?

The cause and extent of your injuries will decide the damages you could recover. Potential damages could include property damage, pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages. 

What are no-fault laws?

Some states put no-fault laws in place to make it more difficult for a driver to be sued by an injured party in a no-fault accident. No-fault laws remove the liability to the parties involved. Insurance companies pay compensation to the victims based on the insurance coverage of the drivers. 

No-fault policies were created to protect the insured and uninsured. Policyholders are protected by their coverages and drivers don't have to worried about being sued in a no-fault crash. 

What happens when there are multiple drivers involved?

Every individual injured in the accident will file a claim against the negligent driver. If the combined value of the case exceeds the negligent driver's coverage, then everyone will have to settle for fewer damages. 

What if the injured passenger and the driver are related?

When passengers are insured under the same policy as a relative driving the car, then they won't be allowed to pursue liability claims. The passenger is considered insured under the policy and an insured person can't pursue liability claims against policies that insure them. 

What can passengers do to prevent injuries?

The Insurance Information Institute reports that seatbelt usage reduces the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45%. Seat belts also decrease the risk of moderate-to-critical injuries by 50%. Light truck occupants see a  reduced risk of 60%-65%. 

Are passengers at higher risk for injuries?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that backseat passengers are 46% more likely to die in a car crash than front-seat occupants. The backseat is still regarded as the safest place for children. 

However, as the age of the backseat occupant increases so does the risk of injury. Backseat riders sometimes neglect to wear their seatbelt. In the event of an accident, this decision could lead to severe injuries or death. 

What can help my case as a passenger?

Gather any documents and evidence pertaining to your case and your injuries. Photos of the crash site, medical bills, witness statements, and police reports can help you build a stronger case. 

Hiring a professional personal injury attorney could prove fruitful in your case. Personal injury attorneys can conduct an investigation and determine who's liable. They'll also be experienced with the courts and laws concerning your case. 

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