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What Happens When You Are Injured in a Car Accident as a Passenger?

If you are a riding in a car as a passenger, your safety is in the hands of the car’s driver, but accidents may happen. If you are injured as a passenger of a vehicle, you may require compensation due to many costs related to pain and suffering, missed wages from being unable to work, and medical bills. Fortunately, there are legal options available to you that may help to provide some compensation for your injuries.

If you are a passenger in a vehicle that is involved in a car accident, you may be injured and suffer various damages. Your injuries can vary greatly depending on the severity of the crash, where you were riding in the vehicle and the kind of vehicle in which you were riding.

There are many ways that you can be injured as a passenger. Injuries could include head injuries, back and neck injuries, spinal injuries, broken bones, lacerations, and soft tissue injuries.

These injuries could affect you long-term, and sometimes the injuries will affect the accident victim the rest of their life and lead to permanent disabilities, permanent scarring, and a future loss of income.

When you file a personal injury claim for the injuries and damages that you suffered in the crash, you will want to ask to be compensated for your medical bills, lost wages, future medical expenses, future loss of earnings, and pain and suffering. In some instances, you may have property damages, such as broken eyeglasses or other property in the vehicle with you being damaged or destroyed.

You will want to be sure that you consider all your losses when calculating the total value of your personal injury claim after you were injured as a passenger in a car.

You will want to maintain supporting documentation and evidence that shows which damages you suffered and helps prove liability and the value of your claim. Documentation is a necessity for a personal injury claim.

You should keep medical bills, medical records, proof of missed work and lost wages, prescription receipts, and anything else that shows your damages and losses. The more supporting documentation that you have, the more likely you are to succeed with your claim.

Injuries Common to Passengers in a Car Accident

As a passenger involved in a car accident, there are many possible injuries you may experience. Common injuries include bruising, cuts and scrapes, and whiplash, which are all usually minor and don’t require much medical treatment.

More severe injuries can include broken bones, head and back injuries, and damage to the spine or brain. The more severe of an injury you suffer from, the more medical treatment you will need, the more work you will be forced to miss, and the more compensation you will need in return.

Determining Fault

Determining the fault in a car accident in which you were a passenger is a bit different than other types of car accidents. The driver who is at fault will either be the driver of your vehicle or the driver of the other car, not you. Depending on who is at fault for the accident, you can file a claim against the insurance policy for one or both drivers.

If you happen to be related to the driver of the car involved in the accident, you will not be able to file a personal injury claim against their insurance policy because you are most likely already covered under that policy.

Also, if there are multiple passengers in the car at the time of the accident, you must all file claims with the driver or drivers at fault. This combined amount of compensation will usually exceed the limit of their insurance policy, and you will have to settle for a smaller amount of damages.

What to Do if You Are Injured in a Car Accident as a Passenger

If you have been injured in a car accident as a passenger, the first thing you should do is determine who is at fault. It is a good idea to get the contact information and insurance information for both drivers if they share fault, as you will be filing claims with both insurance companies.

If only one driver was clearly at fault, or if you were a passenger in an auto accident involving only one car, such as by hitting a tree or other obstruction, then you will only need the insurance information of one driver.

If the accident occurred in a state that uses a no fault system, you can file a no fault claim against the responsible driver and still get compensation for your medical bills and lost work wages.

In cases of two drivers who share fault for an accident, you may want to retain a personal injury lawyer after you complete your medical treatment from the accident. A lawyer will help to ensure you receive fair compensation from both drivers’ insurance policies. This can be especially helpful in certain cases, such as if neither driver wants to settle in court, or if you need to divide the damages between multiple passengers.

How To File A Claim If You Are Injured As A Passenger

If you have been injured in a crash as a passenger, you will need to gather the supporting documentation to file a claim against the liable party. Your documentation should include, but not be limited to, medical bills, medical records, prescription receipts, receipts for medical devices, proof of missed work and lost wages, and documentation that shows other losses and damages. You will also need a copy of the accident report. If possible, get photos of the accident scene after the crash.

Get photos of the damaged vehicles and photos of any visible injuries. Also, get written statements from any witnesses. Witness statements can be very beneficial to your case and can help confirm your claim.

Remember, gather as much supporting evidence as possible so you can make sure your accident injury claim is on track. Your accident injury lawyer will help you gather supporting evidence and ensure that you are treated fairly throughout the claims process. After such an accident, it may be difficult to determine who is liable for your damages.

To get a claim underway, you should consult with a personal injury lawyer who is licensed in your state. The laws regarding filing a personal injury claim varies from one state to the next. There is a strict statue of limitations for pursuing a claim after an accident.

Potential Settlement as a Passenger in a Car Accident

A passenger in a car accident may be entitled to a large settlement depending on the extent of the injuries and their severity. Your settlement is based on the extent of your medical bills and your lost wages. First, all your medical bills will be added up. Be sure to add up all your medical expenses.

This includes doctor bills, hospital bills, physical therapy, prescriptions, medical devices, x-rays and scans, and any medical expenses associated with your injuries.

Your attorney will then use a multiplier, which ranges from 1 to 5 based on the severity of your injuries, to determine your pain and suffering. A more serious injury, such as a spinal injury or a traumatic brain injury, might warrant a multiplier of 5.

A less serious injury that will result in a full recovery, such as a soft tissue injury, might result in a multiplier of 1.5 or 2. The medical expenses are then added to the pain and suffering total. Your lost wages will then be added on top of those costs to come up with the total value of your claim.

As an example, if you suffered a back injury in the crash where you were a passenger and your medical bills totaled $20,000 and you were going to have $15,000 in lost wages, you might recover $100,000 or more for your damages.

These damages add up quickly, and your personal injury lawyer will also consider your future losses to make sure you are treated fairly and to ensure all your damages – including future losses – are included in the total asked for in the settlement.

When you enlist the help of an auto accident injury attorney, you will not have to pay anything out of pocket. Instead, your lawyer will take the personal injury case on a contingency basis, which means your attorney will not be paid until you win your case and receive a judgment or a settlement.

Make sure your personal injury claim for being injured as a passenger gets on track in a timely manner and is handled properly. Schedule your free case evaluation today, so you can make sure you recover compensation for your losses. Time is of the essence for a successful personal injury claim as a passenger.

Additional Resources

Can Two Parties Sue the Same Driver at Once?
Can I File a Claim on Behalf of Passengers in My Car?
Motorcycle Accidents As A Passenger