What to do Directly After a Car Accident as a Passenger

Being in a car accident is stressful enough, but it is even more confusing and overwhelming if you’re a passenger. Here are the steps you should take after an accident, whether you’re injured or not.  By following these steps, you can ensure that you handle a car accident in the best way possible.

Check yourself for injuries and assess whether you need medical attention. If anyone suffered an injury, call 911 or have someone else call for you.

If you’re not injured, check on the driver to see if they need assistance. Again, call 911 if necessary.

Even if no one seems injured, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible. Whiplash and other injuries may not present themselves immediately.

If the driver is not injured, but the car is damaged and needs to get towed, ask the driver to call a tow truck or Roadside Assistance service immediately so that you can get out of harm’s way as quickly as possible.

Once you’re safely out of the car, try to calm down and assess the situation so that you can give a detailed account of what happened when asked by the police or insurance companies later.

Collect information from the other driver, including their name, contact information, insurance company, and policy number. If there are any witnesses to the accident, get their contact information.

Take photos of the accident scene, including any damage to the vehicles involved. This can be helpful when filing an insurance claim.

Call your insurance company to report the accident and start the claims process. Be sure to have all the information collected in step six on hand when you call.

Call an experienced Arkansas car accident lawyer immediately after your accident. Your attorney can discuss your case, answer your questions, and help you seek compensation.

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Filing Insurance Claims as a Passenger

No one wants to file an insurance claim after a car accident but doing so will help you collect the compensation you deserve. As a passenger, filing a claim may seem tricky. Where do you file your claim, and who is responsible? Depending on the specifics of your situation, you might file a claim in a few different ways.

Filing a Car Accident Claim with Other Driver’s Insurance

If you were involved in an accident with another driver, the first step is to file a claim with the other driver’s insurer. You will need to provide them with basic information about the accident and any documentation you have (e.g., police report, insurance information).

Once the other driver’s insurer processes your claim, they will send you a settlement offer. If you agree to the offer, you will receive a check for the agreed-upon amount. If you disagree with the offer, you can negotiate for a higher amount or take the case to court.

Remember, the first offer is NEVER the best.

File a Claim Through Your Driver’s Policy

Generally, when you buckle up in a vehicle as a passenger, your driver is also responsible for your safety. This means that the driver must follow all applicable safety rules and laws. If an accident occurs and your driver is to blame, you can file an insurance claim with the driver’s insurance policy. A certain portion of coverage on their insurance policy is often designated to passenger injuries. Unfortunately, this coverage is typically limited, therefore, might not cover all medical expenses associated with your injuries.

File a Claim Through Your Car and Insurance Policies

You might file a claim through your car insurance UM/UIM policy if the driver does not have insurance. Your insurance company will then pay for any damages caused by the accident. Filing a claim with your insurance policy may seem easy, but it is not. Your insurance company will treat your claim like any other, and they will work to pay you as little as possible.

You can also use your health insurance coverage to pay for your injuries and hospitalizations. Purchasing MedPay with your auto insurance policy would also cover your healthcare costs, medical bills, and hospitalizations while you recover. Since MedPay is not contingent on determining fault, your claim could be processed significantly faster than a third-party claim.

Filing an insurance claim can be a complicated and stressful process. However, knowing what steps to take can help make it go more smoothly. By understanding the different options for filing a claim, you can be sure that you get the coverage you need following an accident.

Is a Passenger Ever at Fault?

Is a Passenger Ever at Fault?

When it comes to car accidents, passengers are generally not held liable. This is because passengers are not in control of the vehicle and, therefore, cannot be held responsible for its actions.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if a passenger deliberately causes a car accident by distracting the driver or tampering with the vehicle, the courts might find that they bear liability.

Another exception is if a passenger distracts the driver or interferes with their ability to operate the vehicle safely, the passenger can be liable.

Who Can a Passenger Sue to Claim Compensation?

As a car passenger, you could file a lawsuit against several parties if you suffered an injury in an accident. As a passenger, here are some parties you can sue after suffering an injury in an accident.

In most cases, the at-fault driver will bear full liability for the crash. As such, you can file a lawsuit against the “at-fault” driver. This might include other drivers and the driver of the vehicle you were a passenger in.

If poor road conditions or improperly maintained highways caused your car accident, you could sue the government entities responsible for maintaining those roads. However, you must act quickly. You have less time to file a lawsuit against a government entity. Your car accident attorney can guide you through this process and ensure you meet all the deadlines.

Sometimes a defective auto part causes an accident. This includes faulty brakes and steering components, defective tires, and improperly designed airbags. If you suffer an injury in an accident due to a defective car part, you can file a product liability claim against the manufacturer.

As a passenger, you have many options when filing a personal injury lawsuit. The best course of action will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. Consulting with an experienced car accident attorney can help determine whom to sue and how to proceed with your case.

What to Do if You're in an Accident as an Uber or Lyft Passenger

When you step into a rideshare vehicle, you enter into a contract with the driver. The driver agrees to transport you to your destination safely and promptly. In return, you agree to pay the agreed-upon fare. However, if the driver fails to uphold their end of the bargain and you are injured, you can file a personal injury lawsuit.

The claims process for a rideshare accident is like that of a traditional car accident, but there are some crucial distinctions. For example, the driver and rideshare company may share liability.

Both Uber and Lyft have large $1 million umbrella liability policies to help cover expenses after a car accident. However, filing a claim with Uber or Lyft depends on whether the driver was “working” at the time of the crash.

If you are a passenger in an Uber or Lyft, then the rideshare company should bear liability. After all, you are covered under their liability policy when you get into a rideshare vehicle. However, liability gets more complex if an Uber or Lyft driver hits the car, you’re in. Were they transporting a passenger? Had they accepted a fare? Were they off-the-clock?

As you can see, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the complexities of the legal system and maximize your chances of obtaining compensation for your injuries.

Can You Claim Damages for Pain and Suffering if In a Vehicle Accident?

When passengers are injured in car accidents, they can seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages include medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.

To recover damages, the passenger must prove that the driver was at fault for the accident. Your attorney can prove fault by showing that the driver violated a traffic law or acted recklessly. If the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the law considers this evidence of fault.

Once you establish fault, passengers must prove the damages they suffered. With economic damages, this is done quickly by keeping copies of medical receipts, bills, and wage statements. Property damage bills, repair costs, and prescription receipts also help show the amount of compensation an accident victim needs.

If your injury results in disability, your attorney will work with your medical team to determine an estimate of your future medical expenses. If you cannot return to work, they may consult a financial or business expert to assess the loss of future earnings, wages, salaries, and benefits.

Proving pain and suffering is more complicated, however. Pain and suffering are not easily quantified. As such, your attorney will need to show how your injuries affected your life and your emotional and mental state. Proving pain and suffering may include mental health expert testimonies and pain journals. An experienced personal injury attorney can help passengers gather this evidence and build a strong compensation case.

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Contact Our Arkansas Car Accident Lawyers

After being hurt in a car accident, you may be feeling overwhelmed and confused. You might wonder how you will pay your medical bills or if your insurance will cover your lost wages. The good news is that you don’t have to face these challenges alone. An experienced Arkansas personal injury lawyer at Rainwater, Holt & Sexton can help you navigate the legal system and get the compensation you deserve.

With eight offices in Arkansas and Tennessee – Little Rock, Little Rock-Corporate Hill, Springdale, Conway, Hot Springs, Bryant, Jacksonville, and Memphis – our personal injury lawyers are easily accessible when you need help.

We’re here to help.

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car accident when to call lawyer

When Should I Get An Attorney for a Car Accident?

When Should I Get An Attorney for a Car Accident? After an accident, car accident victims are often left to deal with serious injuries and rising medical bills on their own. Insurance companies often offer accident victims a low-ball settlement that is just a fraction of what they need to recover. These insurance companies don’t have your best interest in mind—the only people they have in mind are their shareholders and reducing their liabilities. They may pressure accident victims into signing a settlement too quickly and you could end up with less than you need to cover your injuries. The moment your accident occurred, a clock started ticking. It’s a countdown to the first financial hit coming your way as a result of your injuries. For most folks, that first hit is a missed paycheck. Then the first medical bill comes in, and there won’t be just one. Pretty soon, you find yourself with a financial problem that you don’t know how to solve. That’s why it’s important that you call one of our experienced car accident attorneys as soon as possible following your accident. This ensures that our team can collect important evidence and witness accounts that could be lost over time. It also allows our legal team to go to work quickly to build a strong case for you. The sooner you call, the sooner you can get the compensation you deserve for your accident. GET FREE CONSULT NOW Steps to Take After a Car Accident Immediately after you are injured in a car accident, there are steps you can take to help you collect the compensation you need. Call 911 – Call 911 and report your accident, which helps alert both police officials and emergency medical teams to the scene of the accident. Your police report and your medical report will be invaluable when establishing fault and liability. Without them, it’s just your word against theirs. Gather Evidence – Gathering evidence can be done easily now that we have smartphones. Snap pictures of license plates, eyewitness information, vehicle damage, traffic patterns, intersections, and any other important information that could help your lawyer establish fault. Contact a Lawyer – Insurance companies will always seek to reduce their liabilities by offering accident victims a low-ball settlement offer. This is usually a fraction of what you need to recover. Contact an experienced car accident attorney immediately to begin building your case. Remember, contacting an attorney is not the same thing as filing a lawsuit. What Not to Do After a Car Accident While it’s important to know what to do after a car accident, it’s equally important to know what NOT to do. Immediately after your accident, avoid making these serious car accident mistakes. Not Reporting Your Accident – Sometimes it can be tempting to just exchange information with the other driver and go on your way, especially if you don’t believe you’ve been injured. Unfortunately, some car accident injuries can take days and even weeks to become fully apparent. Always report your accident and obtain a police report. Admitting Blame – It’s human nature to apologize – even when we are not wrong. Yet after a car accident, saying “I’m sorry” can be used to show that you admitted fault for the crash. Even if you believe that you were partly to blame, do not admit fault. Accepting Settlement – The insurance company will often use a “take it or leave it” approach to pressure injured accident victims into accepting a settlement that is far below what they need to truly recover. Don’t sign anything without first speaking with an attorney. What is the Statute of Limitations? In the state of Arkansas, car accident victims only have three years from the date of the accident to file a claim. While this may seem like a lot of time, three years can pass quickly after a crash. You may be injured severely and focused on recovery and on improving your life. You may be struggling to make ends meet and trying to help your family stay out of bankruptcy after an accident. During this time, valuable evidence might get lost or even destroyed. Contact an experienced lawyer for your car accident immediately to begin building your case and to avoid missing any critical deadlines. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, don’t wait to get the legal help you need. Call our car accident attorneys today for a free consultation. We’re ready to help you get maximum compensation for your injury claim. When to Call a Lawyer Not everyone who has been involved in a car accident will need to seek legal representation. However, if your accident was severe or complex, then it’s necessary to call a lawyer as soon as possible, so they can begin building your case. If any of the following apply to your situation, call a lawyer right away: Any accident that causes significant injury to you or someone else Any accident where fault is not clearly established Any crash involving another motorist, such as a pedestrian, other cars, truck, or cyclist Any collision in a school zone Any crash in a construction zone or work zone Anytime you disagree with the police report Any crash involving an underinsured or uninsured driver Anytime insurance companies send mixed messages or offer confusing answers to liability concerns Small fender-benders often will not require the assistance of an attorney, however, there are special circumstances where an attorney’s services could be invaluable after a minor crash. These include: Minor collisions that result in significant vehicle or property damage Any injuries to a passenger in your own vehicle or to yourself Any significant work missed by you or your passengers Problems dealing with car repairs and insurance limits The sooner you contact an attorney, the better. In the state of Arkansas, you only have three years to file a personal injury claim. While that may seem like a lot of time, valuable evidence can be lost or destroyed in just a few weeks. That’s why injured accident victims should call an attorney as soon as they are able, even if they’re not certain they wish to file a lawsuit. Our lawyers offer a free consultation and review of your case and we can help you choose the legal path that is best for you and your family. Call us today at (800) 434-4800 to learn more. What to Provide Your Lawyer Make sure your meeting runs smoothly by providing your lawyer with the following information: Contact information Key facts about your case Police report Medical records Financial documents or medical receipts Photos of accident scene or damage Witness contact information and statements When to File A Claim Once you’ve met, your attorney will investigate all aspects of your case and begin negotiating with the insurance company. Remember, a personal injury claim is different from a personal injury lawsuit. A personal injury claim is between you and the at-fault driver’s insurance company and involves a series of negotiations. At Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, our Arkansas personal injury lawyer are skilled negotiators who obtain maximum compensation for our injured clients. If the insurance company plays hardball, however, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party to seek damages. This often occurs when the insurance claims adjuster denies who was at fault for the accident or doesn’t agree with the severity of your injuries. When negotiations stall and a settlement cannot be reached, the next step is a personal injury lawsuit.

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Airbag Injury

Airbag Injury Lawyer in Arkansas & Tennessee When you are involved in a car accident, you trust that your vehicle’s protective devices will help you avoid injury. Unfortunately, sometimes the devices that are supposed to offer us protection actually result in significant personal injury. When a car’s airbag deploys during an accident, it does so at a very high speed. It is hot and covered in chemicals that help it deploy quickly. This can result in serious airbag injury to the driver and passengers, whether it’s an auto accident or big rig truck accident. Airbags can cause significant injuries that may even result in permanent disability and impairment. If you or your loved one are injured by airbag deployment, you need an experienced Arkansas car accident lawyer fighting for you and your rights to compensation. Without a personal injury attorney on your side, you may not recover the money you need to pay all of your expenses. You may also have have a case if your airbags do not deploy.

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Broken Bones & Fractures Attorney Little Rock, Arkansas

Broken Bones & Fractures Lawyer in Arkansas Common Auto, Truck and Motorcycle Accident Injuries Approximately six million people in the United States break a bone each year. These fractures range from minor breaks to more serious compound fractures. While any type of trauma can cause a bone to break, car, truck and motorcycle accidents are some of the most common causes. Unfortunately, after a car or truck accident, injured accident victims do not always take fractures seriously. They may believe that their injuries are not that severe and that they will make a full recovery after the initial treatment is done. This is far from true. Many car accident victims lose range of motion or suffer from chronic stiffness and pain long after the injury has healed. While minor fractures may not pose any long-term danger, more serious fractures can result in significant complications, impairments, and a lifetime of chronic pain and suffering. This is why accident victims need an experienced Arkansas law firm and skilled car accident lawyer in their corner. Your personal injury attorney will be able to help you obtain the money you need to recover after a significant fracture. CONTACT US FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

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Whiplash from Auto Accident

Whiplash Lawyers

Whiplash Lawyers in Arkansas Auto, Truck, Equipment, and Workers’ Comp Accidents in Little Rock and Beyond The forces of an accident can be severe and can damage the delicate muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the neck. The same can occur with trauma from a slip and fall, equipment accident, nursing home abuse, or assault. Due to the nature of these injuries, the full extent of damage is not always fully apparent right after a crash or other accident. However, in the hours and days following the accident, victims may begin to experience pain, stiffness, and numbness in their neck and extremities. Whether you feel all the effects of whiplash right away or start to experience them later, it is important to seek medical help immediately and then speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Neck injuries, such as whiplash, can result in a lifetime of pain and disability if they are not treated promptly. Even with good medical care, some injured accident victims will develop chronic neck pain and impairment. As such, it is important to contact an experienced Arkansas car accident lawyer as soon as you can after your accident. Your personal injury lawyer will be able to protect your rights to full and complete compensation, no matter how serious your injuries may be. CONTACT US FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

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Poor Highway Design

Poor Highway Design Common Causes of Auto Accidents The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 gave birth to the massive network of interstates and highways that traverse our vast country. Construction of the Interstate Highway System took nearly 40 years and was finally proclaimed “complete” in 1992. Today, more than 25% of all vehicle miles driven in the United States are on the Interstate Highway System. The original planners envisioned a massive network of freeways and highways stretching across the United States. This network was intended to safely transport the ever-growing number of vehicles in the country. While these intentions were good, the design of the highway system had some major flaws and has actually led to significant problems over the years. Car accidents on the highways and interstates are frequent and have numerous causes. Speeding, reckless driving, and intoxicated drivers make highways a dangerous place to be, especially during rush hour. However, another common cause of car accidents may very well be the road design themselves. Unfortunately, poor road design isn’t always easy to prove. Accidents that are caused by defective highways or poor road design require the skills of an experienced and aggressive law firm with the extensive resources needed to tackle these complex cases. Accidents caused by poor road or highway design Poor highway design is more common than many people believe. These defects and flaws in the road can cause serious and fatal accidents in Arkansas and Tennessee. Mistakes can occur at any point during the design, building, or maintaining of the highways. Construction errors can lead to joints popping up on the road, faulty repair jobs can result in increased potholes, and design flaws can result in sharp and deadly turns. Some of the most common types of poor highway designs are: Blind curves Poor guardrail placement or broken guardrails  Poor geological consideration Steep shoulders No shoulders Poorly designed intersections Landscaping which obstructs vision Damaged or missing signs Roads not treated properly for snow or ice Poor lighting Poorly maintained streets Curves not graded properly Bad exit ramps Median barrier flaws Poor highway design can cause serious and fatal accidents. Here are some real-world examples of poor road design and how they can cause an accident. A guardrail that has not been properly placed or one that is broken will not protect vehicle occupants from injury during a crash. It can even cause the car to flip over the guardrail, leading to more catastrophic injuries. Potholes may seem like no big deal, but if you hit a bad pothole while traveling 55 mph on a highway, you could lose control of your car or have a tire blowout. This can cause you to run off the road or into other vehicles. Dangerous intersections may have malfunctioning lights, or there may be foliage obstructing your vision of traffic signs. This can cause you to run through the intersection and into oncoming traffic. A shoulder on the road is intended to provide a safe area for drivers if they need to pull over or if their car is malfunctioning. Inadequate shoulders could put your car in danger and may not allow you to exit your vehicle safely. Who Is at Fault for Accidents Caused by Poor Road Design Government agencies in Arkansas and Tennessee have a responsibility to design, build, and maintain the roads in these communities. If you believe that your accident was caused by poor highway design or maintenance, you may be able to file a claim against the appropriate government entity or the construction company that failed to meet the expected standard of care. Typically, in order to find fault, you must clearly establish that the road was designed or built with flaws or defects. If your accident was caused by improper road maintenance, you must show that the government entity knew or should have known that the road needed repair or maintenance and then failed to take appropriate action. If your claim is against the government entity, you must act quickly. Car accident victims only have a short amount of time to file a lawsuit against a government agency. As such, it is important to speak to an experienced and skilled car accident attorney immediately. We’re There When You Need Us If you’ve been injured in a car accident and you believe that poor road design caused your crash, speak to an experienced and skilled car accident lawyer immediately. Poor road design cases are complex and require a law firm with the experience and resources needed to fight these difficult claims. At Rainwater, Holt, & Sexton, our car accident attorneys fight aggressively for your future and will negotiate with the auto insurance companies on your behalf every step of the way.

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Car Accidents and Drowsy Driving - Arkansas and Tennessee

Drowsy Driving Car Accidents

Drowsy Driving Accident Lawyers According to the CDC, more than a third of all adults do not get the recommended sleep they need to function properly. The results can be catastrophic when adults don’t get the recommended hours of sleep. Drowsy driving is one of the main causes of car accidents across the United States, accounting for at least 20% of all fatal crashes every single year. Even missing an hour of sleep can double your risk of getting into a crash. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, missing two or three hours of sleep increases the risk of crashing by 400%. When a drowsy driver injures you or someone you love, you need a law firm on your side with experience handling these cases. You need Rainwater, Holt & Sexton. Our Arkansas drowsy driving accident attorneys have decades of experience building – and winning – cases against drowsy drivers. Call us today to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about your legal options.

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Arkansas DUI Hit-and-Run Victim Awarded $900,000

Rainwater, Holt & Sexton Injury Attorney, Meredith Moore, represented Jaylin Anderson after he was run over by a drunk driver in Jacksonville of February 2018. Sharon Shinn, the defendant in this case, is a repeat offender, and has had five DUIs in three years. Anderson was out for a run, was hit by Shinn’s car... Read more »

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Distracted Driving in Arkansas

Distracted Driving

Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers The emergence of smartphones and on-board infotainment systems has led to a dangerous epidemic of distracted driving. At every moment of the day, it is estimated that more than 660,000 people are using their cellphones while driving. In 2017 alone, distracted drivers claimed 3,166 lives and caused thousands of injuries, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The National Safety Council has reported that cellphone use while driving causes more than 1.6 million crashes every single year. Even worse, because it is often difficult to prove distracted driving, these statistics may be just the tip of the iceberg. If you or someone you love has been injured in a distracted driving accident, your whole world may have been turned upside down in the blink of an eye. You are entitled to seek compensation for your injuries and for the damages you have suffered. The at-fault distracted driver is responsible for compensating you and your loved ones after a serious accident. Unfortunately, receiving the money you need – and deserve – isn’t always easy. Without an experienced Arkansas and Tennessee car accident attorney on your side, you may not recover enough to pay all of your expenses and losses both now and in the future. At Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, our distracted driving attorneys are here to help every step of the way. We’ll connect you with a talented car accident lawyer to ensure that you get the full compensation you deserve. Contact Us Now

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Types of Compensation after Auto Accident

Types of Compensation After an Auto Accident After a car crash, you might struggle to recover from significant injuries. Your car might be totaled, and your life completely turned upside down. How will you collect the money you need to recover and rebuild your life? Unfortunately, not all car accident victims can collect compensation after a car accident. Collecting compensation depends mainly on the type of insurance you carry, the other driver’s insurance, and who is responsible for the crash. Can you collect compensation for medical expenses and other damages? Or are you on your own? When a car accident derails your life, you need answers, and you need a law firm on your side that can help you find those answers. At Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, our auto accident lawyers can help you collect the compensation you are entitled to, so you can focus on what’s most important – your recovery. GET FREE CONSULT NOW

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Why is a medical lien filed against me?

You were injured in a wreck that was not your fault.  You are hurt, scared, mad, and more than a little confused as to why you are getting the bills when you were innocent in all of this?  The bills you can handle, but A LIEN??!!  What is this document you just received and why... Read more »

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