Carpooling, road trips and rides to the store can be fun with co-workers, friends and family. As a passenger in a car, you should protect your safety even though you are not expected to predict every decision of the driver. So, what happens if you are an injured passenger in a car accident? Who’s liable to compensate for your injuries? What are your rights?
Generally, passengers file a claim against the insurance company of the driver who is responsible for the accident. If the driver or owner of the car you were riding in is at fault, you should make a claim against the liability insurance policy of the driver or owner. However, if the fault lies with the driver or owner of another car, you would file a claim against their insurance policy. The claims mentioned above are called a “third party” claim because you are making a claim against another person’s insurance policy. There are scenarios where you may have to make multiple claims. For instance, if both drivers are at fault, you may pursue a claim against the other driver if they have insurance.
What if the driver or owner is family or a close friend? Unfortunately, if you are seriously injured in a car accident, you will likely incur a significant amount of expenses. The responsible person’s insurance company should pay for your medical bills, related losses, pain and suffering, and other expenses caused by the accident. The circumstances of the accident and severity of injuries and losses sustained will determine the amount of your damages. The amount of available insurance coverage often will determine the amount of compensation you receive.
If you are ever in a car accident, seek medical attention before anything else. If possible, collect the names, license plate numbers, and insurance details of everyone involved in the accident. Also, be sure to take photographs of the scene of the accident and surrounding area. Next, contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your options. An attorney can help settle the case, and if needed, will go to trial to protect your rights and ensure you receive full compensation.
Protect yourself, protect your rights. When you seek legal advice, your chances of receiving full payment for your injuries and losses increases substantially. The attorneys at Kershaw, Cook & Talley will fight for your rights and walk with you every step of the way throughout the complex legal process.