If you have been injured as a passenger in an Atlanta, Georgia, auto accident, you probably have questions about where to turn for compensation. Because you were not driving, there’s very little that you could have done to avoid it, if anything at all. You cannot be considered to be the at-fault party, and whether or not you have insurance should have nothing to do with it beyond seeking medical treatment with your health insurance until you are able to settle your case. The important thing to understand here is that you can recover compensation for your injuries and damages, even if you were in the vehicle driven by the at-fault driver. You will need to ascertain who the at-fault driver was, however, in order to know which auto insurance policy you should be filing your claim with.
What Kind of Injury Did You Sustain in the Atlanta, Georgia, Auto Accident?
As a passenger in an Atlanta, Georgia, auto accident, you have different risks than the driver. The driver is almost always sitting in the same general position, but passengers are more able and more likely to be in more risky positions. You might be reclined, lying down in the back seat, resting your feet on the dashboard, or simply unbuckled in the backseat, which is more common than many realize. For safety reasons, it is best to always ensure that you are buckled up and sitting in the correct position. Yet, you can still recover compensation for your injuries if you were not buckled or not in a safe position. Common ways that passengers are injured in Atlanta, Georgia, auto accidents include being thrown from the vehicle, being struck by or striking an object, and being crushed between seats. Passengers are also at risk for air bag related injuries, and injuries caused by improperly buckled seat belts.
Because of these risks, passengers frequently sustain such injuries as whiplash, head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, serious cuts, significant bruising, broken bones, and more. Internal injuries are particularly common among those who are buckled, but not wearing their seatbelt correctly. Anyone who is not buckled at all in the back seat could easily be thrown from the vehicle or crushed between seats. In some cases, passengers wear the seatbelt, but fail to use the shoulder strap correctly or at all. If the shoulder strap goes across your neck, then you are at greater risk of injury. If the shoulder strap is not available or not used, then all of the pressure of the collision is held by the lap belt. If the lap belt is not situated properly, and/or if it is used alone, then it could cause internal injuries. In cases where a passenger has their legs up, their feet resting on the dashboard, or is in another awkward position, they are far more likely to end up with serious broken bones and other injuries.
What Steps Do You Need to Take After an Atlanta, Georgia, Auto Accident?
The steps for an injured passenger in an Atlanta, Georgia, auto accident are similar to the steps that need to be taken by the driver. This includes checking everyone involved for injuries and providing first aid if you are able, contacting the police and emergency medical help, exchanging information, and gathering evidence. If the driver or other passengers are not able to take these steps because of their injuries, then you can do so for yourself and also on their behalf.
When exchanging information, you will need to collect the contact information and insurance information of all involved motorists. You will need to gather evidence by collecting the contact information of witnesses and taking photos of everything relevant to the incident. This would include photos of the vehicles, the property damage, the injuries, the road conditions, and anything else that you think might help to prove how the incident occurred and what damages resulted.
You then need to seek medical treatment as quickly as possible, even if you think your injuries are not severe or don’t realize that you are injured. Once all of this is done, you should contact an Atlanta, Georgia, auto accident attorney at Ted A. Greve & Associates to get more information and advice.
How Will You Negotiate for a Fair Auto Insurance Claim Settlement?
Most people will be contacted by the auto insurance company claims adjusters soon after the accident, and this is often true for passengers, too. If you are contacted before you have a chance to talk to a lawyer, simply avoid discussing your injuries or what caused the accident. Tell the claims adjuster that you do not wish to give a statement at this time, and that you plan to contact an attorney. Be aware that the insurance company claims adjuster has been trained to get information out of you, to act like your friend, and to convince you that you don’t have a claim or that it is worth less than it really is. Never sign anything from an auto insurance company without discussing it with a lawyer, first.
When it comes to settling your claim, you should only do so after negotiating for fair compensation. Your attorney will help you manage this process and will negotiate on your behalf. Just as the auto insurance claims adjusters have experience and skills in convincing people to settle for less, your attorney has the experience and skills to ensure that the insurance company doesn’t mislead you. At Ted A. Greve & Associates, our Atlanta, Georgia, auto accident attorneys are prepared to fight for your best interests and the compensation that you need to cover your various expenses, losses, and damages.
Get a Free Consultation with Ted A. Greve & Associates Today
When you seek a free consultation with an experienced Atlanta Georgia auto accident attorney at Ted A. Greve & Associates, you will get the advice and guidance that you need to pursue your claim. You will not be obligated to hire us, and we will give you honest information about whether or not your claim requires the intervention of an attorney. We also work for a contingency fee, so we only get paid if we are successful in recovering compensation for you.