You can sue if you were a passenger in a car accident. You can sue your driver, the driver in the other vehicle, or both when you sustain injuries as a passenger in a car crash. Typically, your claim depends on the party at fault, the type of accident, and the extent of your insurance coverage.
Car accidents can cause many forms of injuries to passengers, including:
- Fractured bones and loss of limbs
- Severe spinal cord injuries
- Head, neck, and back injuries
- Wrongful death
We Will Help You Establish Liability for Your Passenger Car Accident Claim
A car accident claim can be confusing. While many passengers file a third-party application, very few are aware that they can also file a first-party insurance claim. If you are unsure of who to hold accountable for your injuries, a lawyer will offer legal guidance on what to do in such a situation.
Passenger insurance claims can bring different types of insurance plans into play. Some potential at-fault parties include:
- The local authority if a poor road design, poorly staged construction site, improper road repairs, faulty streetlights, or pothole caused the accident
- Vehicle manufacturer if a vehicle malfunction is to blame for the accident
- The owner or driver of the car in which you were traveling
- The driver or owner of the other car
- Your auto insurance
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (HSMV) affirms that the law vehicle owners must have Personal Injury Protection insurance to protect passengers in car accidents.
What You Need to Know About Third-Party Insurance Claims
A third-party claim is usually filed against the insurance company of the other driver. In other words, the insurance company representing the negligent party will pay for the injuries resulting from the accident.
If both drivers had the same degree of negligence, you could seek compensation from both insurance companies. However, when one driver’s insurance company compensates you adequately, you cannot claim compensation from the other driver’s policy. Protection aims only to repay you for the damages you sustained.
How Your Personal Health Insurance May Be Relevant
In most cases, your auto insurance can pay compensation if the policy covered the individual behind the wheel when the accident occurred. Your plan can also offer benefits if the other driver’s insurance coverage is insufficient.
Personal health insurance pays for your medical bills and other emergency expenses after the accident. However, you will still need to claim compensation from the at-fault parties.
As such, you will have to factor in the expenses you have already incurred in the claim against third parties. The costs that your insurance will have paid will be deducted from the value of the settlement.
Damages You May Be Able to Recover
There are some commonalities in all personal injury cases. A passenger injured in a car accident can claim damages such as:
- Medical expenses—including medication, visits to the doctor or pharmacy, therapy, and mobility equipment
- Loss of income (the inability to work presently and in the future)
- Care expenses
- General damages for pain and suffering, and physical injuries
- Loss of consortium and companionship
- Cost of home renovations for conditions like paralysis
If the At-Fault Party Is a Family Member
In many car accidents, the driver and the passenger are not strangers. They could be friends or close family members. As an injured party, you might be reluctant to sue someone if a claim has the potential of ruining a relationship with a loved one.
Unless your family member or friend does not have valid insurance, you do not need to fear filing a claim against them. The suit has nothing to do with your relationship, as they will not be paying out-of-pocket. Their insurance company will pay the claim.
However, your family member’s insurance rates can increase after the accident due to their responsibility for the crash (and not your injuries). This would still happen regardless of whether you received the compensation that you deserve, however.
We Will Help You File a Third-Party Claim
After the accident, try to obtain insurance information from all involved drivers. Also, take photos of the accident scene and record witness statements. Do not forget to get a copy of the police report, as it is a vital component for filing a compensation claim.
Seek immediate medical attention and safely keep the medical statements and receipts as proof of your injuries. All these measures will strengthen your case as you file your claim through the help of a lawyer.
Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers Can Help You Today
If you are in Florida, you do not need to prove that a driver was negligent to recover your medical expenses when filing a compensation claim. However, seeking the help of a lawyer when you were a passenger in a car accident puts a lawyer on your team to fight for fair compensation for you while you recover.
At Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers, we are ready to walk with you through your quest for justice. Call us at (855) 529-0269 for a free consultation. Retain a lawyer to learn about all options before you sue. Call now, as you may have four years to take legal action under § 95.11 of the Florida Statutes.