If you are injured in a car accident as a passenger, you may be entitled to recover expenses you had to pay to treat your injuries, such as immediate medical care, ambulance costs, rehabilitation, medication, and more. If the driver of your vehicle was at fault, you could make a personal injury claim against your driver’s insurance policy. However, if your driver is not at fault, your claim would be against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. According to personal injury attorneys Wattel & York, determining fault for an accident can be challenging, so it’s best if you get guidance from a car accident attorney. Please continue reading to learn more.
Steps To Take Immediately After the Accident
Your safety should be your immediate priority after the accident. This means you should check for any injuries you may have suffered from the accident and, if needed, seek medical attention. Then, when you are in stable condition, you can gather important evidence that you will need to file a claim. This includes a copy of the accident report, which includes details of the accident, such as the description of the vehicles involved in the crash, names and addresses of the parties involved, names of insurance companies, and details of the accident scene.
It is also wise to take photos or videos of the accident scene and get contact information of any witnesses to the accident. If you went to the hospital after the accident, you might not be able to get some of this evidence, but don’t let this make you neglect your health. You can always gather evidence later, but you must take care of your health as a priority. In addition, if you don’t take your injuries seriously, it might compromise your injury claim. The opposing party could argue that your lack of immediate medical attention proves that your injuries were not serious.
File a Passenger Injury Insurance Claim
After you have gathered all the evidence from the accident scene and got all the medical attention needed, you can start the procedure to file a passenger injury claim. While you want to do this as soon as possible, you also want to ensure you have all the information ready to submit with your claim. Therefore, it is best to consult with an attorney to ensure you file the claim correctly. They can also guide you on common pitfalls to avoid when filing a passenger injury insurance claim.
Most car accident claims are settled outside the court, which is the fastest and easiest way to resolve the issue. However, at times, all the parties are not in agreement, and the case has to go to court. While you can recover a higher amount by taking the case to court, you should be ready to wait, as it can take significantly longer to resolve a personal injury claim through court proceedings.
Your personal injury attorney can also guide you on how much your passenger injury case is worth and help you negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company. If you still can’t reach an agreement, the attorney will guide you through a court trial. In some cases, you can get a judgment beyond the at-fault driver’s insurance policy limits. The amount exceeding the limits would have to be collected for the driver’s personal assets. If the driver of your vehicle was a relative or friend, you might be hesitant to file a passenger claim; however, you should remember that you are filing a lawsuit against the insurance company and not against your relative or friend.