An injured passenger generally has just as much right to compensation as the driver.
After a car accident most of the attention is focused on the drivers. However, passengers that have been hurt may also be entitled to receive compensation, even if they were riding in the car found to be liable for the accident. Just as if you were the driver, take care to document as much of the accident as possible and avoid giving statements to any insurance representatives.
As a passenger you have available to you more options after an accident. Your claim can be filed against the driver of the car you were in or the other car, depending on which one is found to be negligent. Depending on the medical portion of your own insurance, you may even be able to file a claim against them. A car accident lawyer can go over all of the details of the accident as well as the available coverage to determine what is the best course of action for your case.
Steps to Help Strengthen Your Claim
- Try and take your own photos of the accident.
This is easy now as most people carry cell phones with built in cameras. Do not discuss the accident with any other person that was involved, including other passengers. This may be difficult in a case involving friends, but it is in your best interest.
- Give an honest statement to the police.
- Allow yourself to be checked for injury at the scene and even if not advised by the on scene EMT’s, see a doctor right away.
Pain from injuries do not always present themselves immediately and not seeking medical care right away may worsen a trauma as well as prevent you from receiving full compensation. If you are approached by an insurance adjuster, hire a car accident lawyer and direct them to them. An insurance adjusters’ sole purpose is usually to help minimize your claim. You may inadvertently say something that can help them achieve that goal.
Take for instance the case of two 27 year old Missouri women who were hit by a delivery truck. The passengers’ hip injury was repaired with surgery and she still suffers from pain. The driver sustained more life threatening injuries and she was hospitalized for a significant amount of time. Sadly she settled her lawsuit against the driver before the completion of discovery for $250,000. On the other hand, the passenger followed the advice of her car accident lawyer and waited until all of the facts were revealed. It turned out that the defense was trying to conceal the fact that the driver of the delivery truck was intoxicated at the time of the incident. He had walked away from the scene and back to work in an attempt to avoid having to make a statement to the police in his condition. With these facts the plaintiffs lawyers were able to prove that not only was the driver liable, but the company for which he worked for was as well. In the end they settled for $1.3 million. This is a huge difference from the drivers’ settlement.
St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer
An injured passenger generally has just as much right to compensation as the driver. If you were the passenger in a car crash seek counsel immediately from a car accident lawyer. You just may be entitled to more than you think.
If you are passenger who has been injured in a Missouri car accident, seeking the advice of an experienced car accident lawyer will benefit you greatly. At The Hoffmann Law Firm, we have over 15 years of experience handling car accident cases in Missouri. To ensure that you have an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer fighting to protect your rights, call us today at (314) 361-4242 and schedule a free consultation.