Your relaxing ride in a friend's car could come to an abrupt stop if you are involved in an accident. Many passengers in vehicles are just naturally more focused on other things and not paying much attention to the road, so collisions can come as an unpleasant and shocking surprise. You may be entitled to personal injury damages if you end up being hurt as a passenger in a wreck. Read on to find out more.
Does Fault Matter?
Fault is an incredibly complex and important aspect when dealing with car accidents. The driver at fault usually has to pay the other driver's accident-related damages. Actually, it will be the driver's insurance policy that pays. If both parties share fault, they split the liability accordingly. As the passenger, there is no way to pin fault on you. You are an innocent party. What is interesting about passenger injuries is that the passenger can file suit for damages against either the driver of the car in which they were a passenger or the other driver. Whichever driver caused the accident can be sued by a hurt passenger.
Suing Friends and Loved Ones
Many passengers never even consider taking action if their driver caused the wreck. You might be talking about suing co-workers, friends, dates, and others, after all. You must consider, however, that you are often suing the driver's insurer and not the driver personally. You can sue the driver personally if you want to and if their insurance is inadequate to meet your losses, though.
Why Taking Action Is Important
You did nothing wrong, but you can still suffer dire consequences in an accident. By taking action, you are opening the door to compensation for several categories of losses, such as the following:
- Medical expenses, both past and future.
- Lost wages from missed work.
- Pain and suffering from the way the injuries affected you overall.
Without taking action, you could be left to pay all those expenses on your own since you cannot use your own automobile insurance to cover those losses.
How to Take Action
Follow these step-by-step tips after a passenger injury:
- Seek medical treatment right away.
- Begin documenting your post-accident recovery and medical treatments using a pain journal.
- Save copies of medical bills and receipts for later reimbursement if you must cover them.
- Get a copy of the accident or police report from the accident.
- Speak to a personal injury lawyer about your situation as soon as you are well enough.
For more information, contact an accident lawyer.