The aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming. If you were a passenger in a recent accident, you may be entitled to recover all the damages from the responsible party. You should obtain a copy of the police report and collect any readily available evidence at the scene to substantiate your claim against them.
Do not confront the at-fault driver or say anything to anyone until you seek legal counsel. A local personal injury lawyer can explain the laws of your state, such as critical filing deadlines. They can also assess your recoverable damages, including medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.
Whose Insurance Is Responsible for Compensating Me?
Determining who owes you compensation after an accident can be confusing. If the driver whose car you were in caused the accident, you could file a claim with their insurance company.
If the other involved driver caused the accident, you and the driver of the vehicle you were in can file a claim with their insurer. If either or both drivers were uninsured, seeking damages can be even more complicated. Your lawyer can explain the steps involved in suing the at-fault driver directly.
If you own a car and have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, it may cover many of the immediate costs of the accident, including medical care. A personal injury lawyer can take the confusion out of the financial recovery process.
When Do I Have to Go to the Doctor for My Injuries?
You should accept any emergency medical care your injuries require and continue to follow the treatment protocol your healthcare provider prescribes until they determine you have reached maximum medical improvement. Remember to take all required over-the-counter and prescription medications, too.
Your PIP coverage, if applicable, or the at-fault driver’s insurance will cover any medical care costs your accident-related injuries require. Focus on recovering from your injuries. In the meantime, your lawyer can focus on building the strongest possible case for you and filing it within the allotted time.
For legal consultation, call (410)777-8960
Do I Need My Own Lawyer When I Seek Compensation Afte a Car Accident?
You may not be legally required to have a lawyer represent you, but hiring one can benefit your case. They can:
- Investigate the cause of your car accident and identify the at-fault driver
- Handle all communication with the at-fault driver’s insurance company
- Build a comprehensive case file that proves your right to damages
- Locate and interview lay witnesses and relevant expert witnesses
- Explain potentially hard-to-decipher legal and insurance language
You should also consider hiring a lawyer if your case is complex, like if your accident involved multiple vehicles or commercial vehicles. They can also help if you are seeking compensation from a government agency or a vehicle manufacturer.
Your lawyer will also provide you with ongoing updates on your case and represent you on a contingency fee basis. Under this payment agreement, the law firm will cover the costs of preparing your case, and you will owe them no compensation at all unless they recover damages for you.
What Compensation Can I Recover as the Passenger?
If the car you were riding in was your own and someone else was driving, you can recover the cost of restoring your car to its pre-accident condition or the cost of replacing your car if it was declared a total loss.
Aside from vehicle damage, as the passenger, you may recover losses, such as:
- Medical bills from the time of the accident and throughout your recovery
- Lost income for that same period and your loss of future earning capacity
- Treatment-related expenses, including travel and assistive medical devices
- Lasting physical disabilities and disfiguring injuries
- Physical, mental, and emotional pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life
Your lawyer can carefully review your case and determine its monetary value and explain the documents they will collect to support your compensation request. They may include your immediate and long-term medical bills and your proof of income
Does the Personal Injury Statute of Limitations Apply to the Passenger?
Yes. The statute of limitations applies to every injured party in the accident. If you don’t file your lawsuit on time:
- You could be prohibited from filing your lawsuit altogether.
- Your lawsuit will be dismissed without ever being heard.
- You will have no legal recourse to seek compensation.
A local lawyer can explain the statute of limitations and the consequences of filing your lawsuit too late. They can also go over the steps they will take to avoid them and keep your right to take the negligent party to trial if it becomes necessary.
What Would a Car Accident Case Involve?
If your case has to go to court, which is highly unlikely, your lawyer will explain the entire process from start to finish. It typically involves the following steps:
- An investigation by both sides
- Depositions for all involved parties
- Conducting discovery sessions
- Preparing exhibits for the trial
A lawyer will also present your case to a judge or jury and argue for the financial compensation you are entitled to recoup. Even after your case goes to court, they could reach an acceptable settlement agreement up to the point that a verdict is made. Your lawyer will work hard to steer your case toward a settlement.
Get Help Fighting for Compensation After a Car Accident
If you were injured in a car accident, you are entitled to seek multiple forms of monetary compensation. Our service-oriented law firm will explain what you should do if you were an injured passenger in an accident.
Contact Adam Smallow Injury Lawyers today to start a free consultation.