If you are a passenger in a car accident, there’s a helpless feeling that comes along with it—you had nothing to do with whether there was an accident or not. You weren’t driving the vehicle you were in, and certainly you weren’t driving the other vehicle. Truthfully though, passengers in a car accident often experience the worst injuries. Here are some tips for moving forward if you’ve been injured.
Insist On A Police Report
Even if both drivers are interested in moving on, for one reason or another, you should strongly encourage calling a police officer to the scene. The officer will establish a record of the accident including the date and time, all individuals present, and quite often leave notes in the report as to who the officer believes was at fault. Additionally, having an officer on hand helps to insure that the parties provide accurate information as to how to contact each individual and what motor vehicle insurance they may have.
Seek Medical Treatment
The biggest mistake injured passengers make is not seeking medical treatment. Sometimes it’s because the passenger doesn’t think they are hurt, as is the case with a minor accident or “fender bender”. Other times, it’s because the passenger doesn’t have health insurance or money to pay the out-of-pocket or deductible that comes with health insurance. In the personal injury legal world, however, seeking health treatment very quickly is key to preserving your ability to be compensated for your injury.
Insurance adjusters view a delay in treatment as a sign that either a) your injury wasn’t legitimate, or b) your injury happened after the car accident and before you sought treatment. In other words, it’s not the insurance company’s responsibility.
Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer
When you’re a passenger in a car accident, there are multiple insurance policies which may come into play when settling your personal injury claim. First, a determination must be made as to who is the at-fault driver. Whether it’s the other vehicle or the vehicle you were traveling in, a personal injury lawyer will establish a claim on your behalf and set forth the facts, supported by law, which establish fault.
If your injury is severe and you exhaust the insurance policy limits on the at-fault driver’s policy, you can pursue the insurance policy limits on the other vehicle. The minimum insurance policy limits for a motor vehicle are $30,000 per bodily injury or $60,000 total bodily injury for all persons in the accident. § 20-279.21. “Motor vehicle liability policy” defined.
For injuries and medical bills which justify a larger recovery, your personal injury lawyer will pursue additional policies via underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage. This is a function of motor vehicle law.
Start With A Consultation
It’s important to understand your rights and recover damages that you’re entitled to as a result of someone else’s negligent behavior. We are happy to discuss your case with you and provide guidance. There’s no charge for the consultation, and it can be done in person or over the phone. If you’d like to speak with a personal injury lawyer today, call 704.749.7747 and we will help you move forward. Or, you can click HERE to request a phone call at a time of your choosing. We hope you’ll choose to Recover With Us.