While riding in a vehicle, you could be involved in a crash where the other driver is at fault or the driver of your car is at fault. You may wonder, what happens if you are a passenger in a car accident like this?
As the passenger, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your injuries. The insurance company for the driver who is found to be at fault would most likely pay the claims in a case like this. You would have the same rights as the driver would have in an accident in which he or she was not at fault.
What Should You Do After an Accident if You Are the Passenger?
As the passenger in a vehicle, you may be sitting back and enjoying the ride. Because you are not driving, you do not have to fully focus on the road. Instead, you can play a game on your smartphone, watch the scenery, or take a nap.
Because you are not focused on the road, you may not see an accident coming. Suddenly, you are jolted in your seat, and you may be unsure exactly what has happened.
Other times, you may be fully focused on the road, and you can see the accident coming. Either way, you should do a few things after the accident.
Check Everyone’s Health
In the immediate aftermath of the crash, make sure everyone in your vehicle is not seriously injured if you are able. Check the health of those in the other car.
If you have been injured, call emergency personnel or make sure someone else has called emergency personnel to help you.
Talk with Law Enforcement
Police officers investigating the crash may have questions for you and the other passengers and drivers involved in the accident.
You do have the ability to have your lawyer with you during questioning from law enforcement, if you want. However, you also can just tell law enforcement what you witnessed, if anything.
See a Doctor
Even if you did not feel you suffered an injury in the aftermath of the accident and you refused a trip to the hospital in an ambulance, you may be in much more pain in the hours or days afterward.
You should see a doctor after an accident like this, whether it is in the emergency room immediately after the crash or whether it is a day or two later in your personal physician’s office. It is imperative that you seek medical treatment immediately following a crash.
Only a doctor can truly diagnose your injuries and determine the best path forward to attempt to recover.
For a free legal consultation, call 317-636-7777
Filing a Claim
When it is time for you to file a claim, you have the ability to potentially receive compensation for a variety of items, including:
- Medical bills
- Estimated future medical bills
- Any prescription drugs or physical therapy required
- Lost wages, both after the accident and in the future
- Disability and disfigurement
- Emotional trauma, including PTSD
- Pain and suffering
Does It Matter Who Is at Fault?
You have the ability to file a claim, regardless of which driver was at fault for the accident. Should law enforcement find that both drivers contributed to the accident, your claim would be split among both insurance companies.
Although it may feel strange to file a claim against a friend who was driving the car, if he or she was found to be at fault in the crash, you do have that right.
If it helps, remember that the insurance company will be representing the driver at fault, so the payment for your claim will come from the insurer, rather than from your friend.
Filing With Multiple Insurers
If your injuries are especially serious, the responsible driver’s insurance policy may not have enough coverage to fulfill your entire claim. In a case like this, you may have part of your claim paid through your personal health insurance. Or if the other driver was at fault, the insurance company for your vehicle’s driver may pay the extra part of the claim.
Achieving a Fair Settlement in a Car Accident Case
Understand that if you need to file a personal injury claim in the state of Indiana, you have a two-year window to start the action. Regardless of whether the driver of your vehicle or the other vehicle was at fault, as a passenger, you must adhere to the same statute of limitations under IC 34-11-2.
When you are confused about how to proceed in a personal injury case like this, consider contacting the team at Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. We will study the facts in your case, helping you figure out the best path to take.
Call us as soon as possible at (317) 636-7777 for a free review of your case. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not accept any fees until the case reaches a satisfactory settlement.