Being the passenger instead of the driver can be a nice change of pace, but when a collision occurs it can be just as distressing. Read on and find out what you need to do to ensure that your damages are covered after an accident when you were just taking a ride with a friend or family member.
Personal Injury Damages
If you were injured in a wreck as a passenger, you are almost certainly due some compensation no matter who caused the wreck. The money you are owed is known as damages and they are broken down into several sections. First are medical expenses and that includes everything needed to deal with your injuries, from start to finish. Next comes pain and suffering, which is based on your medical expenses. Serious and/or permanent injuries could result in pain and suffering payments in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Finally, lost wages are available for those who missed work dealing with medical matters.
What to Know About Fault
When two drivers collide, one or the other is at fault. In some (rare) situations, each driver holds some level of fault. Here is what you need to know: as the passenger, it doesn't matter which driver was at fault for the wreck. At least when it comes to getting paid damages, you have a choice of taking action against either the driver of the car that hit you or the driver of the car in which you were a passenger. Since you were just along for the ride, you cannot be sued by either driver as you had no part in the wreck.
Taking Action for Passenger Injuries
As soon as you know who was at-fault for the wreck, you can proceed to the lawyer's office and begin the legal process. You may, however, end up taking legal action against your friend or whoever else was driving the car if they are found to be at fault. While this situation can be a bit uncomfortable, you are probably not really suing your friend but their insurer. This action may end up creating some issue with your friend's insurer, such as a policy cancellation or raised premiums, however. To make sure you are not left paying your own expenses because of the wreck, do these things:
- No matter how minor the accident, see a doctor afterward.
- Document your injuries using photographs and a journal.
- Never speak the accident adjuster for either insurance agencies.
- Speak to a car accident lawyer as soon as possible.