Written on Apr 1, 2015 9:00:00 AM
3 Things Passenger Accident Victims Should Know
No matter what position in the vehicle you are, being involved in an automobile accident has risk for serious injury and further health problems — this can apply even in the most minor of accidents. Contrary to popular belief, passengers possess an equal opportunity to drivers to recover compensation for injuries incurred as the result of a crash. This can be in the form of lost wages, transportation to-and-from doctor’s appointments and, of course, medical bills for injuries.
While most of the same information applies to drivers as it does to passengers, there are some important points to be aware of from as a passenger accident victim. Keep these in mind when you consult with a dedicated and compassionate auto accident attorney, as they will be able to shed more light on your specific situation. After all, no two accidents occur under the same circumstances.
1.) Wait, I Have a Better Chance for Compensation Than the Driver? How Does That Work?
As previously mentioned, passengers can also submit a claim to receive compensation for their injuries and lost wages. While situations vary and this may not always be the case, passengers oftentimes have a better chance for receiving compensation without as much struggle in their claim. Why, you ask? You were a passenger, meaning you had no involvement with the actual driving, and therefore the question of liability, if it were posed, doesn’t even apply to you.
In the eyes of an insurance company, being a passenger is the ultimate definition of an auto accident victim, because it isn’t something that can be argued or rebuked. Regardless of whether you are in the car that is at fault or not, you can still submit a claim and possess a right to compensation.
In order to discern what coverage is available and which insurance company to go through, getting help from a trained personal injury attorney is invaluable here, as you will have peace of mind moving forward and taking care of your injuries.
2.) Why do I go Through my PIP for my Medical Bills, and not the Driver’s?
You may have heard that Florida is a “No Fault” state when it comes to accidents. This basically means that, no matter who is at fault when it comes to a crash, you go through your own insurance company for Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits. This applies to passengers, as well. If you don’t have auto insurance, you would still undergo the same process of receiving medical treatment and later seeking reimbursement from the claim you submit. This would be to the opposing insurance company that’s responsible for the damages incurred.
Make sure you document everything you see at the scene of the accident, preferably with pictures and notes to back-up your claim, as well as medical bills and other lost compensation as a result of the accident. This will help strengthen your own claim and the driver’s for negligence, or drunk driving if it is involved.
3.) Why do I Have to get an Attorney, Can’t I Deal With This Myself?
Personal injury attorneys are very prevalent in Florida due to the volume of accidents that occur, as well as the particular laws that are in place. There are billboards everywhere of attorneys urging you to call them — but why? Truth be told, trained and seasoned auto accident attorneys are really the only ones that are invested and care about your case as much as you do.
Auto insurance companies only care about the bottom line, even when it comes to your own. Most of the time, they want to resolve these claims as quickly as possible so they can fulfill their quota or lessen the paperwork stack. Without an attorney, insurance companies will pressure you to sign paperwork or participate in recorded statements you don’t fully understand, and understate your injuries in order to pay you less than you rightfully deserve.
Finding an attorney that will listen to your situation fully and not treat you like another number, but like family, is integral. Most of the time, any attorney worth their salt will not collect unless they win for you, so there are no upfront fees.
Sure, you can undergo an accident claim solo, but dealing with doctor payments, recovering lost wages from insurance and processing medical bills can be extremely overwhelming, and easy to lose track of without close monitoring. You don’t have to go through your claim alone; there are auto accident attorneys that care and want to help.
Being a passenger victim in an auto accident is a serious matter, and requires immediate treatment and evaluation by an attorney. These are only a few factors and things you should know when it comes to being a passenger in an auto accident. If you have been involved in an accident and are feeling pain (no matter how minor), seek medical attention and consult with an experienced auto accident attorney that can get you the help and compensation you deserve.