RICHARD F. SILBER, PLLC
What Are My Legal Options as a Passenger Injured in a Car Accident?
Being injured in a car accident can feel like life as you know it has come to a screeching halt. It is emotionally traumatic. You are physically injured and in pain. These types of things follow you long after you leave the crash site. In addition to all of this, you are facing mounting medical bills and possible lapses in income due to missed work. Drivers may worry that they will be found at fault for the accident. What about passengers? Passengers do not have to worry about being found at fault for an accident, but, as a passenger, you may still worry about whether or not you will be compensated for your injuries and who will pay your personal injury claim.
As an Injured Passenger, What Can I be Compensated for?
A passenger injured in a car accident has the same right to compensation as they would have if they were driving the vehicle when another driver’s negligence caused an accident. As an injured passenger, you can recover monetary compensation for:
- Cost of medical care
- Cost of future medical treatment
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning ability
- Pain and suffering
- Damage to personal property
The compensation you are entitled to depends on the nature and extent of the above losses. Make sure you get the medical care you need and receive consistent follow-up treatment for your injuries. Your medical records are the proof of your injuries. An insurance company will not pay you what you deserve based on your word alone. Yes, doctor’s appointments and follow-up treatment can be very inconvenient. Make it a priority. Your health and your personal injury claim depend on it.
Who Will Pay My Personal Injury Claim?
The answer to this, of course, is that it depends on the circumstances of the accident. Who was at fault for the accident will largely determine who will be responsible for paying your claim, or whose insurance company will be paying your claim. You may end up making claims and recovering compensation from multiple parties. The most common claims would be against the insurance policy of:
- The driver of the car in which you were a passenger in at the time of the accident
- The driver of another vehicle involved in the accident
- The owner of the car you were a passenger in at the time of the accident
- The owner of another vehicle involved in the accident
It might feel uncomfortable bringing a claim against the policy of the driver or owner of the car in which you were a passenger at the time of the accident as you likely new them. They may have been a friend or family member. Remember that claims are almost always made against the insurance policy of the person and not the person themselves. That is why people carry car insurance; to compensate people for injuries they may have caused while operating a motor vehicle.