Injured In A Car Accident: What To Do When You'Re The Passenger


Getting into a car accident when you are the passenger is a tough situation. You didn't cause the accident, but you have to wait for a settlement to be determined before you can be reimbursed. If you've been injured in a car accident as a passenger, check out these five important questions.

Who Is Responsible for Your Medical Costs?

Generally, when anyone gets into a car accident, the insurance of the person responsible must may for damages and medical expenses. This is still the case if you are a passenger in the car. You file a claim against the driver who is responsible for causing the accident. However, as a passenger, you have the right to file a claim against both drivers. If the policy of the driver who caused the accident isn't high enough to cover your medical expenses, you can file a claim against the other driver to get the rest of the money you are owed. 

What Happens if Both Drivers Are at Fault?

In many cases, both drivers are responsible for the accident. They may be equally responsible, or one driver may be a found slightly more responsible than the other. If this is the case, you'll get your settlement from both driver's insurance policies. The breakdown depends on how much each driver is responsible. For example, one driver may pay 25 percent of what you are owed and the other will pay 75 percent. Unfortunately, in many cases, both drivers may feel the other driver is more responsible, which leads to a dispute, and you are forced to wait until it is settled.

What Happens if You Are Related to the Driver?

A lot of times, the passenger is related to and lives with the driver. For example, a husband and wife or parent and child. Generally, if you are related to the driver and live with them, you are probably already covered under their auto insurance, and you cannot file a liability claim against that insurance carrier. If the other driver was responsible for the accident, however, you can still file a third party claim against that driver.

Can You Seek Reimbursement From Your Insurance Carrier?

You can seek reimbursement from your insurance provider. The main reason you would do this is speed. Filing a third party claim against the responsible driver takes time because the insurance carriers must determine who is liable for the accident. If you pursue reimbursement from your own insurance, you only qualify for medical payment coverage, which doesn't require proof of liability, so you can get your money faster. Medical payment coverage only covers medical expenses (not pain and suffering or lost wages), and if you end up getting a third party settlement later, the amount you received from your insurance carrier will be deducted from the settlement.

What if There are Multiple Passengers?

You may not be the only passenger in the car, and if all the passengers end up getting injured and suing the responsible driver, you may end up getting less than you deserve. If the driver's insurance covers $100,000, that doesn't mean $100,000 per injured person. It means $100,000 total. If three people file a third party claim, you only get a max of about $33,333, which may not be enough to cover all your medical expenses.

What if You Were Working When the Accident Occurred?

What happens if you're the passenger in a car accident while you are driving for work? If you really were performing a work-related task, such as driving to a meeting, workers compensation is typically your best bet. If the driver of the car in which you were riding is responsible, your employer's liability insurance typically prevents you from filing a claim against the driver. However, if another driver caused the accident, you can typically file a claim.

It may take time to reach the settlement you deserve, but as an injured passenger, you have the right to medical reimbursement. If you've been injured in a car accident and you were a passenger, contact an attorney at a place like John Tamming Law Office today.


8 July 2015

Talking About Car Accident Cases

Hello everyone, my name is Nina Zoulon. On this site, I am going to share information about hiring a personal injury attorney. I will also talk about my journey to procuring those services for myself. When I was a beginning driver, I was on the road constantly. During one of those excursions, a driver going the opposite direction crossed the centerline and plowed straight into my vehicle. I was trapped by the dashboard for hours while firefighters helped me escape. After the accident, the other driver tried to blame my inexperience on the accident. I hired a lawyer to help me fight the case and I won. I would like to discuss personal injury attorney services in more detail to help other people win their cases in court. Thanks.