Being a passenger in a car involved in a vehicular crash can be a shocking and confusing experience. The panic due to being involved in an accident is compounded by the uncertainty of the future legal proceedings. It is natural to wonder whose insurance will cover your damages in the wake of the accident.
Luckily, car accidents are rarely the fault of passengers, and the drivers or other parties involved are held liable for the accident. While making an insurance claim might be complicated if the car was being driven by your friend or family member, it is possible to file an insurance claim against the insurance policy of the driver at fault for the accident.
Steps to Follow Immediately After an Accident
One of the most important things you can do after getting involved in any car accident (especially as a passenger) is to document the scene of the accident thoroughly. You should take as many photos of the scene of the accident as possible, interview the eye-witnesses present at the scene, and keep the audio recordings safe for future reference. It is also recommended that you keep a copy of the official police report for insurance claim purposes.
To obtain fair compensation through a lawsuit, it is necessary to prove that one or both drivers were responsible for the accident. The proof of liability must be accompanied by damages resulting from the accident — which can include outstanding medical bills, lost wages, ongoing trauma, and more. If you can successfully prove the party at fault in a court of law, you can obtain financial compensation for said damages.
Filing an Insurance Claim as a Passenger
If you were injured as a passenger in a car accident, you can file an insurance claim with the insurance provider of the driver based on important information provided by the car accident lawyers at Angel Reyes & Associates. PIP (Personal Injury Protection) or MedPay (Medical Payments) are parts of the driver’s vehicular insurance policy that can cover the damages caused to passengers as a result of a car crash. It applies to the no-fault states where all drivers are required to have this insurance for the passengers in their vehicles.
In a fault-state where such insurance is not compulsory for car drivers, the injured passenger can file a claim against the driver’s Bodily Injury insurance plan. It is important to keep in mind that out of the fifty states, only twelve are no-fault states. Therefore, realistically, most cases will fall within the latter category.
Aside from filing an insurance claim against the insurance coverage of the driver of your car, you can also file a claim against the other driver’s insurance plan. The process of obtaining compensation through this route might be a little more complicated than the alternatives, especially in the no-fault states where the eligibility of filing such a claim is determined by the state law. In such cases, proving liability in the accident can sometimes be a daunting task.
You might also be able to file an insurance claim against your car insurance, but it has its drawbacks. Filing a claim in this manner can cause your rates to increase unfairly because you were not driving the car and were not responsible for the accident.
While filing an insurance claim in the aftermath of your injuries as a passenger involved in a car crash can be a challenging task, the process becomes much easier if you hire a competent lawyer to handle your legal case. An experienced lawyer will help you obtain fair compensation for your damages and keep you organized throughout the process.