Passengers in car accidents can receive compensation for injuries, no matter who is at fault. There are some unique challenges and complications with passengers however, as expressed below.
Rightful Share for Passengers
The insurance company of the at-fault driver in a car accident will typically limit what they can pay for the injuries of involved persons. When several victims exist, the allowed amount of compensation will be split among all victims. It can also be difficult to claim your rightful share, and you may have to go up against the other victims and the insurance company.
To illustrate the challenge, consider a case where two passengers are injured in a rear end accident. There are three occupants, including the driver. Each occupant files a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Each injured part is receiving compensation from the same allowed amount of funds for this purpose. The amount you receive may not be enough to cover your losses. Seeking the guidance of an experienced lawyer will help to maximize your own recovery.
The Process for Passengers
The process of filing a claim for an injured passenger in an auto accident is similar to the process for the injured driver. You’ll obtain the insurance information of all drivers, and determine whether one driver is clearly at fault. If so, file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance companies. If there is any question about fault, file a claim with the insurance companies of each driver. It can be more challenging if you know and care about the driver, as a friend or relative. If their insurance doesn’t cover your damages, then a lawsuit can be a difficult next step that you’ll have to think about.
It will be up to you to prove your injuries. This is one reason it is so important to seek medical attention right away after an auto accident. Follow all medical and treatment advice, and ensure that your injuries are addressed and documented. Follow up on even the mildest of symptoms and maintain detailed records of your treatment and expenses to be better prepared for your claim.
Two Car Accident Issues
Any time when there are two or more drivers involved in a car accident, your claim can end up being trapped between two disputing insurance companies, with both companies denying fault or coverage for injuries and damages. If it is determined that your claim is worth $30,000, but there are two at-fault drivers, then each driver will have to pay a portion of your damages, based on their modified comparative fault. Thus, if one driver is 70% at fault, then he or she will pay $21,000 of the damages, while the 30% at fault driver will pay $9,000 of the $30,000. There are some situations where one or both insurance agencies will refute the percentage of fault, and you may be waiting until one insurance company gives in.