Picture this: you’re riding with your friend to an event when suddenly, you are both rocked by a serious car accident. You are now injured and unsure of what to do. You know what your rights would be if you had been driving. But, you were just a passenger in an accident?
What are your rights as a passenger involved in a car accident, and should you contact a lawyer?
No one wants to consider the possibility of getting into a car crash, but you should always prepare yourself for the worst. Here is everything you should know about being a passenger in a car accident, as well as when you should contact a car accident lawyer.
Identify the Driver At Fault
Your first step after being involved in an accident is to identify who was at fault. Here are some tips to help you identify who was at fault in your accident, as it won’t always be easy to tell.
Your Vehicle’s Driver is At Fault
If you were involved in a one-car accident, then your driver will clearly be the one who is at fault. But. if you were sitting up front with the driver, you may have also directly witnessed the accident take place, which will give you a lot of information to work with. However, there are also other signs you can take note of if you are uncertain.
Pay attention to the damage to the car; if your driver was at fault, then there will likely be damage to the front of the car. You can also take note of any traffic signs around the vehicle to see if your driver wasn’t obeying the signs.
Of course, you should ask your driver for their version of events as well. That will help you piece together a fuller picture of the incident.
If Another Driver is At Fault
If you are unable to detect any traffic signals that your driver would have missed and you have damage to the side or rear of your car, then the other driver was likely at fault. Take note of any damage to the other vehicle as well for a clear understanding of what parts of each car collided with each other.
You may run into a situation where you are unable to determine who is at fault for the accident. A thorough investigation by lawyers and investigators may be necessary in order to determine who was at fault. Unfortunately, this means you will have to wait longer for compensation if you were injured in the accident.
Get Information From Any Drivers Involved
No matter who was at fault, you should collect information from any drivers involved in the car accident. This information includes:
- The full names of any drivers involved
- Contact information such as phone numbers, emails, etc
- Vehicle descriptions and plate numbers
- Insurance information including insurance company names and insurance numbers
- Photos of the scene of the accident, including any damage to the cars and injuries sustained
You should also gather as much information as possible from any witnesses around the scene. This includes bystanders, other passengers, and any drivers involved. Make sure you get the full names and contact information for any bystanders with important information as well.
What if the Driver At Fault Doesn’t Have Insurance?
If the driver at fault in the accident doesn’t have insurance, or if they do not have enough insurance to cover your medical bills, you may be out of luck. You could end up paying out of pocket for your own injuries or have to rely on your own insurance for assistance. However, you may also be able to sue the driver at fault for your injuries.
If you do find yourself in this situation, a personal injury lawyer can help you file a lawsuit against the driver. They will inform you how to move forward, as well as how to take care of your medical bills in the meantime.
Speak With a Car Accident Lawyer
Before speaking with your own insurance company, it’s crucial for you to get in contact with a car accident lawyer. They will know how to best answer any questions posed by your insurance company, as well as how you can file your claim with the best chances for success.
If you suffered extreme bodily injuries, then a car injury lawyer can help you place a lawsuit against the driver at fault for their negligence. For extreme cases, such as if the driver of your vehicle were to die or also suffer extreme bodily injuries, a lawyer can help you press adequate charges against the negligent party.
File a Claim
Finally, you’ll need to file your claim in order to get compensation for your medical bills. Your car accident attorneys will be able to assist with this process, so be prepared with any questions you may have for them. Make sure you file your claim as soon as possible after the accident to better your chances of compensation.
You will be filing an injured passenger claim, which is similar to a car accident claim. It will cause the insurance company of the driver at fault to pay for any medical bills you received after the accident.
Understand Your Rights
It’s important that you understand your rights as a passenger if you are involved in a car accident. If you find yourself in this situation, keep these steps in mind so that you can receive proper compensation for your injuries. When in doubt, contact a car accident lawyer with any questions you may have.
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