How Much Money Can a Passenger in a Car Accident Get?
May 10, 2022 | Car Accidents
There is always an additional element of helplessness for passengers in a car accident. Not only are they at the mercy of the driver operating the vehicle, but many wonder if they can file a compensation claim.
The simple answer to this question is yes. As a passenger, you can file a personal injury claim.
Remember, though, that after a car accident, your health is the highest priority and of substantial importance. Seek medical attention right away or as soon as possible. Never let injuries linger in the hopes they heal independently. Plenty of car accident passengers sustain significant injuries that are not always visible to the naked eye. Speaking with a car accident attorney is the best action you can take following an accident.
Compensation Depends on the Extent of Damages
The amount of money a passenger can receive after a car accident depends on the extent of damages they experience from the crash. In minor claims, you may only receive a few hundred dollars. You can see up to millions of dollars in compensation in more severe cases. More often than not, though, many claims fall in the middle.
Additionally, passengers’ experiences in an accident can vary from that of the drivers. With passengers, they are entirely vulnerable to the decisions or actions of the drivers. Meanwhile, the two drivers might end up disputing responsibility for the crash. For instance, one driver might bring up one allegation while the other driver says the exact opposite.
However, certain factors will influence how much compensation you can expect as an injured passenger, including:
- How much you incurred in medical bills and whether you will need ongoing medical care in the future.
- The wages you did not receive due to your absence from work while you are in the hospital or at home recovering.
- Whether you can return to your previous job following your injuries,
These factors need a careful evaluation to determine how much compensation you should receive as a passenger in a car accident.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident Passenger?
The average settlement or amount a passenger can receive varies according to the severity of their injuries and the level of pain and suffering.
Other factors that determine how much a passenger can receive include the quality of the insurance policy of the at-fault driver and the extent of the passenger’s injuries.
Passengers have every right to receive compensation if they sustain injuries because of someone’s negligence. Sometimes, the insurance coverage of the driver or drivers will cover all expenses that the passenger is up against. If the insurance payments are less than the passenger deserves, you can bet that they have the right to pursue compensation by filing a personal injury claim.
To better understand how much a passenger in a car accident can receive, you should consult an experienced attorney. That way, you can receive an adequate amount from the insurance company. Passengers may not realize how much their injuries cost in the following weeks, months, and years to come.
A skillful and trusted attorney will suggest that you do not blindly accept any offers from insurance companies or the at-fault driver. If you decide to accept a lowball offer, demanding further compensation is more complicated.
Furthermore, passengers who sustain injuries in a car accident should review past bills and costs to know how much the insurance company owes them. Passengers also need to consider the future costs of their injuries. Again, this helps ensure they get a fair payment.
How Do Settlements Work for Injured Passengers?
Immediately after a car accident, passengers should contact medical services and a car accident attorney. An attorney ensures that your best interests are protected. If the vehicle driver is a family member, you might have coverage under their policy. Should that be the case, you will have the opportunity to receive compensation to cover medical bills and other costs. If the at-fault driver operated the other vehicle, you can always demand payment from their insurance company.
If an accident involved multiple passengers, that may affect the amount of money each passenger receives. The amount of payment a driver’s insurance company offers does have a limit. Keep in mind that if there are multiple passengers in the accident, it might mean each will receive lower offers. This can quickly complicate the circumstances, and you want to ensure you receive the full amount possible.
Who Compensates You for Your Injuries?
The responsible party for compensating you for injuries also depends on several factors. The driver of the vehicle you are in may have a policy that protects you against all expenses. If the driver of the other car is accountable, then their insurance company can make an offer for payments too. In serious accidents, you may need to combine both drivers’ policies to cover costs.
Health insurance can cover immediate medical care, even if you eventually receive payment from the driver’s insurance company. There are other times when a passenger can use their insurance policy to cover some of the costs they may face. While these scenarios are less common than others, an experienced car accident attorney can help you throughout the legal process.
What Damages Should You Pursue After Suffering Injuries in a Car Accident?
It is no secret that costs from a car accident injury can quickly add up. Never settle for less than you deserve. Your attorney will carefully review the charges you face to make sure you demand payment that accurately depicts your expenses.
Your car accident lawyer will consider:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost income and earning capacity
- Past and future pain and mental anguish/suffering
- Past and future disfigurement and scarring
- Past and future physical impairments
Consider existing medical costs and lost income and the bills you may face in the weeks, months, and years after the accident. It is beneficial to anticipate the future value of other damages too. While it may seem overwhelming to calculate what you should receive, there is no need to worry when you have a properly trained attorney on your side. They will know how much you should demand and expect in payment.
How Can a Passenger File a Claim for Personal Injury?
Filing a claim may require assistance from a lawyer. Their job is to put together your case and collect all the necessary information and evidence that supports it.
These factors contribute to a car accident:
- Driver negligence – Depending on the negligence, the driver of the other vehicle or even the one you are in at the time of the accident can be responsible for the accident.
- Vehicle owner – The vehicle’s driver is not always the car owner. As a passenger, you can potentially file a claim against the car’s owner.
- Mechanical failure – When one or more parts of the vehicle fail to function correctly, which in turn causes a car accident. You can sue the manufacturer of the car or part. If the failure is due to improper automatic repair, the mechanic also shares liability for the accident.
- Employer’s errors – This applies to commercial purpose vehicles. The driver takes total liability for the accident, but the employer shares liability under specific circumstances. If the employer should force the driver to drive even in unsafe conditions, or the driver may already spend more time than they should behind the wheel, the employer could face liability.
If you are filing a claim requires you to gather all evidence if you wish to receive total compensation. With enough evidence, you increase your chances of full payment. Treat the car accident injuries with a medical professional and have documentation of all visits, injuries, and medical procedures if they apply to you. All records of bills from medical visits, transportation costs, and lost wages can all help build a case with a personal injury attorney.
How to File a Claim Against a Family Member or Friend?
If, for example, a family member or friend is driving the car at the time of the accident, and you are the one to suffer injuries as a passenger, your potential claim becomes a little more emotionally complex.
Sometimes the relationship dynamics can make the injury case more personal too. This is especially true if a family member or friend is at fault. You may have to file against their insurance company.
For the most part, the driver’s insurance protects them in an accident and if they are at fault. What usually tends to happen is that their insurance rates increase. Here is another reason why it is crucial to speak with a car accident attorney for more guidance.
What Are Passengers’ Rights in a Collision?
First, some states require drivers to carry Bodily Injury Liability and Property Damage Liability insurance throughout the country to receive vehicle registration. Other states offer the “no-fault” Personal Injury Protection coverage. Typically, you have access to your insurance coverage after an accident under these policies. Regardless if you are the passenger or not.
Since passengers are to seek insurance coverage from a liability policy after a car accident, they should be familiar with their rights, which include:
- The right to information from drivers. All passengers have the right to request the names, addresses, vehicle registration numbers, driver’s license numbers, and insurance information of all drivers in the accident. If any driver refuses to provide their data, the passenger can pursue it from the police officer working the accident scene.
- The right to receive necessary emergency medical assistance. Injured passengers have the right to reasonable assistance in emergencies. This may include; transportation to a hospital or a doctor for medical treatment. It is still advisable for any passenger who does not require emergency aid to see a doctor and have a medical assessment. Be mindful that you may not necessarily feel pain right after the accident. The injuries may not reveal themselves for a few days. Visiting a doctor offers you documentation to file a possible claim.
- The right to a copy of the accident report. This translates to passengers having the right to a copy of the official police report. You can ask the attending officer when the information is available and how you can acquire a copy.
- Passengers also have the right to refuse to make a statement to insurers. If a passenger does not have an attorney present to represent them legally, said passenger does not have to speak to the insurance agents of the other party. There is no requirement for passengers to give a recorded statement either. They only have to share contact information and confirm that the information on the police report is accurate. Again, personal car accident attorneys can’t reiterate this enough, don’t talk to anyone, especially insurance adjusters, until you have someone with you who is knowledgeable about the law.
The last few rights of the passengers are to file a claim with any appropriate insurance policies and the right to file a civil complaint or lawsuit against all liable parties.
Don’t ever forget that as a passenger, you have the right to demand compensation for all medical bills and other expenses you may incur due to a car accident. While passengers remain at the mercy of the forces outside their control, the one area you can control is who you want standing by your side and fighting for justice on your behalf.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney Today
Take matters into your own hands and contact your local car accident attorney. A car accident attorney can and will get you through the entire legal process. It can be very demanding and overwhelming for victims. Leave all your worries or concerns with the right attorneys.