When you are driving your own vehicle, you are covered by your own auto insurance policy. But what happens when you are a passenger involved in an auto accident? There is good news, you may be eligible for coverage from more than one form of insurance carried by the driver of the vehicle you are riding in, the owner of that vehicle, the other driver and even your own insurance.
As with any personal injury claim, in a car accident case the plaintiff must be able to prove liability (i.e. – the defendant’s fault) and damages (i.e. – how badly the plaintiff was injured). A passenger who gets injured in a car accident usually has an easier case than a driver who gets involved in an automobile accident. This is because the passenger does not have to worry about proving liability; one of the drivers is always going to be liable.
It is almost impossible to have a two-car accident without at least one of the drivers being determined negligent in some way. If it is a case where both drivers could be at fault, an experienced auto accident attorney will need to negotiate with both drivers’ insurance companies.
But who pays your medical bills and expenses is not determined until you seek proper medical care. So if you are a passenger injured in a car accident, it is important you seek medical care immediately. As a passenger, you are oftentimes dependent on the insurance coverage carried by the drivers involved in the accident. However, there are a few steps you can take to ensure you are covered:
Get insurance information immediately. Get the names, phone numbers, and insurance information from each of the drivers at the scene of the accident, and ask the police officer for a copy of the accident report. This will help you when filing your claim.
Take charge of your own safety when riding in a vehicle. It is estimated that 12,584 lives were saved in 2013 by seatbelt use alone, according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Passengers can be found to be at least partially responsible in an accident. Anything from distracting the driver, to grabbing the wheel, even not wearing your seatbelt can make you responsible, and “at-fault,” for accidental harm.
Make sure to carry adequate insurance of your own. Having your own health insurance will protect you any time you need medical care, and under the Affordable Care Act, there are many new options for insurance, including low-cost coverage and government subsidies for people with modest incomes. You can learn more by visiting healthcare.gov.
Know when to hire an experienced auto accident attorney. In the perfect world, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will compensate you for your injuries. However there are circumstances where either the insurance company will resist paying for your damages, or where there is not a clear policy that covers all of your damages. Under these circumstances you will need a personal injury attorney to help you receive compensation for your injuries. Remember, the law is on your side if you are injured due to someone else’s negligence. Get medical help immediately and speak with an experienced auto accident attorney as soon as possible.
In many cases, a passenger injury claim can be settled relatively smoothly, but there are situations where it is difficult to settle passenger injury cases. This is why it is essential that you seek experienced legal representation if you suffer injury as a passenger in a vehicle.
If you or a loved one is a passenger who has been injured in a car accident, you need to contact an experienced Orlando auto accident lawyer immediately. Florida drivers have only 14 days to seek initial medical attention to receive insurance benefits after an accident. The damages from a serious car accident are not always covered in a settlement from your insurance company. Many times, the initial settlement offer is barely enough to cover the basic costs associated with your accident. Our personal injury attorneys are well equipped and armed with years of legal experience helping people file auto insurance claims. We can help you obtain full compensation for your medical bills, future medical treatment, loss of wages, property damage, pain and suffering, etc. Feel free to fill out our quick contact form on our website to discuss your legal options in greater detail.