If you were injured as a passenger in a car accident, you may be confused as to how to go about obtaining compensation for your losses. Obviously, you were not at fault for the crash. So then whose insurance is responsible for paying for your medical bills and other damages?
Filing a Claim With Your Driver
Legally, the driver of the vehicle you are riding in is responsible for your safety. So if that driver’s negligence leads to an accident and you are injured as a result, they must use their insurance to cover your damages. Typically, motorist insurance policies contain liability coverage that will cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost income.
Filing a Claim With the Other Driver
You may not be able to file a claim with the other driver if your driver is completely at fault. However, you should be able to if both drivers share a portion of liability.
In order to get compensation from the other driver, you will need to prove that they are at fault for the accident. This requires obtaining evidence, witness testimony, and more. A car accident attorney can help you gather the necessary information, as well as build a strong case around it.
Filing a Claim With Your Own Policy
As a passenger in a car accident, you may also obtain compensation using the medical payments portion of your own insurance policy. Because this specific type of coverage is not based upon liability, it may cover you as a passenger in another person’s vehicle. However, keep in mind that this type of coverage will only cover medical expenses. It will not cover damages for lost income or pain and suffering.
In addition, if no liability coverage exists on either driver’s insurance policies, you may be able to obtain compensation through the uninsured motorist coverage on your own auto policy. If the at-fault party lacks enough coverage, you may be able to use underinsured motorist benefits.
What If You’re Related to the Driver?
Unfortunately, passengers related to the driver responsible for an accident may not be able to pursue a claim against that driver’s liability policy. That is because you are more than likely considered insured under their policy, which means you cannot file liability claims against a policy that insures you.
Can a Passenger Be At-Fault for an Accident?
Typically, passengers are not considered at-fault for accidents. This means they can receive full compensation no matter who is actually found at fault. However, in some situations, a driver’s insurer may dismiss a claim based on your actions as a passenger.
For instance, let’s say you knowingly got into the vehicle of an intoxicated driver. While you were not at fault for the accident, you may be held responsible for the decision to get into the car of a driver you knew was under the influence. You could therefore lose your right to obtain compensation.
If you sustained injuries because your driver was under the influence, an experienced car attorney can help you understand your rights and weigh your options.
What Should You Do If You Were Injured as a Passenger?
If you were injured as passenger in a car accident, make sure to take the following steps:
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
- Write down any details about the accident while you still remember them.
- Obtain a copy of the official police report.
- Gather insurance and contact information of all drivers involved in the accident.
- Refrain from discussing the details of the accident or your injuries with the other drivers.
- Do not give an official statement to any of the other drivers insurance company without speaking to your lawyer first.
- Do not post details about the accident or your injuries on social media.
Speak to an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today
At Brylak Law, we can help you build a strong case and file a successful personal injury claim. Regardless of who was at fault for the accident, let us help you receive fair compensation for your injuries. Contact us today to learn more.