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?

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.

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

We’re here to help.

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