Car wrecks are an all too common and distressing occurrence for the American motorist. With multiple insurance companies haggling about fault and costs, it can quickly become a very confusing experience for everyone involved. But if you are an innocent passenger injured in an automobile accident, you have a number of options available to you to recover for your injuries. Here’s what a passenger needs to know about the aftermath of a car crash.
The first thing that insurance companies do when they receive a claim is to determine who is at fault for the accident. This involves an investigation including looking at any police reports, photos of the accident, the damaged vehicles, and any statements from the drivers and others at the scene. It is important to note that as a passenger, if you are injured, who you can collect from often depends on the assignment of fault in the wreck.
Filing Claim Against The Driver
If the driver of the car that the passenger was in is at fault, then you have the legal right to file a claim against the driver’s insurance and receive compensation for your injuries. Car liability coverage pays for medical expenses and lost wages, but this amount is often limited by the insurance policy. If you feel like this amount is not sufficient, you’ll need to consult a personal injury attorney to see if a negligence claim is necessary.
There are some limitations to collecting damages, however. If a passenger is related to the driver, you may not be able to recover. If a family member is driving your car when the accident happens and you are injured, you would be filing a claim against yourself. An insured driver cannot filed a claim against his or her own liability coverage.
Filing a Claim Against The Other Driver
If the other driver is at fault, the passenger then needs to file a claim against that person’s liability insurance. If both drivers have some fault, you cannot double dip for damages. If your injuries total $20,000, you cannot collect the same amount from both drivers. The total amount from each driver depends on the percentage of fault assigned to each.
If the passenger is for some reason a cause of the accident, such as distracting a driver or grabbing the steering wheel of the car, the amount of damages they can recover is reduced. If the insurance company determines a passenger’s actions were 15% of the reason for the crash, then any possible claim is reduced by 15%.
Seek Legal Help!
Knowing what to do after a crash can be disorientating. The first thing to do is take care of your medical needs and safety. Then it always a good idea to contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your legal rights.
Contact Purchase, George & Murphey P.C., The Top-Rated Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice Attorneys In Pennsylvania!
Here at Purchase, George & Murphey we have many years of experience helping Pennsylvanians understand their rights when involved in car wrecks and other accidents. We take pride in our personal touch, and always put our clients first. Contact us today for a consultation to see if our expertise can help resolve your case. If we aren’t the right fit for you, we’ll help you find the lawyer that is. Call us today for a free consultation or get in touch via our online contact form. We’re here to help!
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.