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What Are My Rights as a Passenger in a Car Accident? How Can an Attorney Help?

Posted in Car Accidents on September 21, 2020

When you suffer injuries as a driver in a car accident, you know that you have the right to compensation. If you suffer injuries as a passenger, however, does that right to compensation change? Can you still recover damages? Consider these facts when determining how much compensation you should expect if you suffered injuries as the passenger in an auto accident—and how an attorney can help you.

1. You have the right to compensation for any injuries suffered in a car accident, even as a passenger.

As a passenger in a car accident, you have the same right to compensation that a driver can expect. While you do not need to worry about compensation for vehicle damage—unless, of course, the accident occurred while you were in your own vehicle—you can still seek compensation for any injuries you suffered in your auto accident. This includes:

Compensation for your medical bills.

After an auto accident, you can seek compensation for all medical bills that you faced as a result of your injuries. This includes everything from emergency treatment, including ambulance transport, to physical therapy for months after the accident. Keep track of all of your medical bills so that you can get a better idea of the compensation you deserve.

Coverage for lost wages.

Losing income while you recover from your injuries can mean a serious hit, especially for victims who work in hourly positions or do not have paid time off. Fortunately, you can include compensation for those lost wages as part of a personal injury claim.

Payment for pain and suffering.

In addition to compensation for financial losses, you, like the driver of the vehicle and any other passengers, have the right to claim compensation for pain and suffering. Talk to an attorney about how to include pain and suffering as part of your personal injury claim.

2. Being a passenger in an accident may change who you can seek compensation from.

As the passenger in an accident, you may have several options for seeking compensation. You may have the right to seek compensation from the party that caused the accident: either the driver of your vehicle or the driver of another vehicle. If you suffered injuries that exceed the coverage offered by the liable party’s insurance, or if you suffer injuries in an accident with a driver without insurance, you may have the right to file for compensation through the uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage carried by the driver of your vehicle.

If you suffered injuries as a passenger in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, you may also have the right to seek compensation through the driver’s company-provided insurance. Both Uber and Lyft provide substantial insurance coverage that can provide vital protection in the event of an accident.

3. Having multiple passengers in a vehicle during an accident, if all suffered injuries, can limit the compensation you can receive.

Most auto insurance policies offer double the compensation for all individuals injured in an auto accident that they would provide for a single individual injured in an accident. This helps protect the insurance company in the event of an accident, but it may not help the passengers in an accident. If, for example, you suffered injuries in an accident with a car filled with people, that could mean multiple passengers who have to split the amount offered by an insurance policy. In an accident with a party who carries only minimum liability insurance, that could mean just $30,000 in protection available to everyone who suffered injuries in the accident.

4. An attorney can provide valuable assistance as you manage a personal injury claim as the passenger in an accident.

As the passenger in an accident, you need an attorney who will focus on getting you the compensation you deserve. The insurance company that covers the driver of your vehicle may help that individual seek compensation for both their vehicle and the injuries the driver sustained in the accident, but they will not focus on helping you secure the compensation you deserve. An attorney, on the other hand, will focus on helping you. This includes:

Collecting evidence related to the accident from an unbiased perspective. An attorney will not try to disprove the involvement of the driver of your vehicle, as an attorney working specifically for that individual might. Instead, he will collect evidence from an entirely unbiased perspective aimed at helping you maximize your compensation.

Helping you understand the compensation you deserve for your injuries. An attorney will provide you with valuable information that will help you understand exactly the compensation you deserve: how multiple parties suffering injuries in an accident can impact the compensation you receive, how much you deserve in compensation for your injuries, and who you need to file a personal injury claim against after the accident. An attorney may also help identify other individuals or entities that may share liability for the accident, including the vehicle manufacturer or a mechanic, in the case of a mechanical failure.

Handling negotiations with the insurance company for you. Your injuries may create enough stress all on their own. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney means that you can turn over negotiations to the attorney, rather than having to deal with them yourself. You can let your attorney field all calls from the insurance company, reducing your stress levels and freeing you to focus on other elements of your recovery.

Providing valuable legal advice at every step of the process. An attorney can advise you about how to control what you post on Facebook as you manage your personal injury claim or how to handle conversations with anyone involved in the accident, including the driver of your vehicle. Often, these small details can make a big difference in your quest for compensation.

Did you suffer serious injuries as a passenger in an auto accident in Louisiana? Do you need an attorney who will help you understand your legal rights after an accident, including your right to compensation? Contact The Law Office of John W. Redmann today at 504-500-5000 to learn more about the compensation you deserve.