Passengers involved in car accidents face an added element of helplessness. Not only are they at the mercy of the person operating the car, but they are also often left wondering if they can file for compensation.
The simple answer is yes, you can file a personal injury claim if you were the passenger involved in a car accident. To understand more about filing, read on.
And please remember that after a car accident your health should be your highest priority. If you are injured or suspect you may be injured, be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Whether you plan to file a claim or not, you should save all medical documents and speak to a car accident lawyer as soon as you can.
How Much Can You Expect From The Accident?
There are two factors that influence how much compensation you can expect as the passenger in a car accident.
1: You may be entitled to compensation for all your medical expenses, which could put a dent in your finances, especially if you spent a lot of time in the hospital and have undergone multiple procedures due to your injuries.
2: Your financial losses, which also include the wage you lost due to absence from work when you were in the hospital or at home recovering from your injuries.
These factors will be evaluated carefully to determine how much compensation you should get as a passenger involved in a car accident.
The average settlement amount for a passenger injured in a car accident can vary based mostly on the severity of the injuries received and overall pain and suffering.
Can You Receive Compensation For a Car Accident?
As a passenger, you are entitled to compensation for injuries and financial losses caused by a car accident. In fact, you have the same right to file a claim as the drivers of each vehicle.
You will need to file a separate personal injury claim with the insurance company of the driver who caused the accident. This means you are either filing a claim against the driver of the other vehicle or the driver of the vehicle you occupied.
How can you file for a personal injury claim?
To file a claim as a passenger involved in a car accident, you may need the help of a personal injury attorney who will put together your claim and collect all the necessary evidence to support it. There are several factors that could contribute to a car accident including:
- Driver Negligence. Either the driver of the other car or the driver of the car you were in at the time of the accident, can be held responsible for the accident, based on negligence.
- Vehicle Owner. The driver of the vehicle is not always the owner of the vehicle. In some cases, you may file a claim against the owner of the vehicle.
- Mechanical failure. This means that one or more parts of the vehicle failed to function properly causing the car accident. In this case, you can sue the manufacturer of the vehicle or the manufacturer of the part. If the failure occurred due to improper mechanical repair, the mechanic could share liability for the accident as well.
- Employer’s errors. This is applicable for vehicles used for commercial purposes. In this case, the driver will take full liability for the accident but the employer could also share liability under certain circumstances. For example, if the employer forced the driver to drive even in unsafe conditions or the driver has already spent more than the allowed number of hours behind the wheel (specific in long-distance transport), the employer could be held responsible as well.
Filing a Claim Against a Family Member or Friend
If a family member or friend was driving the car at the time of the accident and you suffered injuries as a passenger, then your claim becomes a little more emotionally complicated.
The relationship dynamic may make the injury claim slightly more personal. If your family member or friend are found to be at fault, then you may have to file against their insurance.
For the most part, the driver’s insurance covers them in case of an accident, and if they were at fault, their insurance rates would increase regardless of your claim. So it’s worth speak to a car lawyer in Port St Lucie or somewhere near you for more guidance.
If you want to have the best chance of getting a settlement and being compensated for your injuries after a car accident, you have to work with a good personal injury lawyer who can do the research and help you prove your claim.