As a passenger in an automobile accident, you may be covered for your injuries, regardless of whether the driver of your car or the driver of another car is at fault. However, these types of claims come with their own
complications and challenges.
Your Rightful Share
When an accident occurs, the insurance company of the at-fault driver will likely have payout limitations to cover the injuries of all involved parties. If there are numerous injured individuals, this amount must be split between them. Claiming your share of the coverage can prove challenging. You may find the need to prove your interests against the insurance company, as well as other injured parties in the crash. For example, consider a situation in which there are two passengers and a driver in a car that is rear ended. All three occupants are injured and they each file a claim against the at fault driver. If liability is proven, every injured party must receive compensation from the same pool of money, which means that you may end up with a damage amount that is less than the value of your claim. For this reason, attorney representation is important when you are the passenger in a vehicle accident. As with any personal injury claim, you must prove the extent of your injuries and that the driver is proximately at fault.
As a passenger, your claim will proceed much like an injured driver. You should get insurance information from all involved drivers. If there is one driver who is obviously at fault, only file a claim with that driver’s company. If there is a question about who is at fault, file a claim with both insurance companies. This is where passengers may face a barrier that drivers generally do not deal with because the driver of your car may be a friend or even a relative. It can be a sensitive situation, especially if insurance does not adequately cover your damages and a lawsuit becomes necessary. As a passenger, this is a circumstance that you should consider.
Since you have the burden of proving your injuries, you should seek medical attention just as if you were the driver. If emergency services arrive on scene, allow yourself to be checked out and follow all medical advice for follow up treatment. Injuries suffered by passengers often differ from those suffered by drivers due to their location in the car. You may be experiencing a head injury from hitting the windshield or whiplash from sitting in the backseat during a rear end collision. Comprehensive medical care can help identify your actual injuries.
The Intricacies of Two Car Accidents
When two or more drivers are involved, you may find yourself in a position where your claim is stuck between two disputing insurance companies. For example, if the passenger’s claim is worth about $30,000 and the jury determines that both drivers are at fault, each driver is responsible for paying $15,000 to the passenger. If the jury finds one party 30% liable and the other 70% liable, one party must pay $9,000 and the other party must pay $21,000. However, if the insurance agencies are unable to agree on the percentage of fault, the passenger becomes stuck between the two drivers until one party gives in to the other.