Few things in life are as disruptive as a car accident, especially when you are the passenger. However, even if you aren’t driving the vehicle at the time of an accident, you can still seek settlements to cover any injuries you incur.
Here is what you should know if you are a passenger injured in a car accident.
Typical Passenger Injuries
There are a number of common injuries that passengers in car accidents suffer from. These may include:
- Head injuries, including concussions or traumatic brain injury
- Neck, back or spinal cord injuries, including whiplash
- Broken bones due to the force of impact
- Cuts, bruises, and lacerations from broken glass
Related article: Common Car Accident Injury Symptoms
For serious accidents, you should seek immediate medical attention. Even if you were able to walk away from the scene of the accident, speak with a doctor to document your injuries and preserve your ability to make a claim in the future. If you are pregnant, you should get checked out after any car accident, no matter how minor.
Remember: when you are riding in a car, you should always wear your seatbelt. Passengers in the front seat should never put their legs on the dashboard, because it is an additional risk to their legs and feet if the airbags deploy.
What You Can Recover
As a passenger involved in a car accident, when you are seeking recovery, there are two types of damages you can receive as part of a personal injury claim.
You can ask for specific damages. These are economic damages that are easy to calculate and have a price tag attached to them. These include:
- Medical bills, as well as any costs incurred traveling to and from doctor’s appointments,
- Lost wages, due to time spent away from work while recovering from the accident, and
- Personal property damage, such as the cost to buy new clothing or to repair your phone.
While you are in recovery, keep track of every receipt in order to maximize your recovery.
You may also seek general damages. This type of damage includes pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of everyday activities. While money may not be able to fix the ache in your neck every time it rains, it is a substitute for the pain or discomfort you suffer as a result of the auto accident.
Who to Pursue
As a passenger, you have several options of whose insurance company you can file a claim against.
First, you should consider filing a claim against the other driver’s insurance. This may provide some or all of the financial relief you need. However, Arizona’s minimum requirements for liability insurance may not be enough to cover the extent of your injuries. This is especially the case if there were multiple drivers involved, because the coverage amount will be split among each individual’s personal injury case.
Second, you may consider filing a claim with the insurance policy of the driver of the car you were in. Their insurance may provide additional coverage, which will allow you to recover from the accident. If you were in a rideshare care, such as an Uber or Lyft, your driver may have up to $1,000,000 in bodily injury coverage.
Third, your own auto insurance company may be able to provide some relief as well. It may make your rates go up, but it may seem small when compared to facing tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills. If the other driver was uninsured, you may also be able to make a claim through your own uninsured motorist coverage.
Finally, you should speak with your personal health insurance provider for assistance in paying for your medical costs – after all, this is why you pay premiums each month.
This article does not provide legal advice and is for informational purposes only. If you were injured as a passenger in a car accident, contact our experienced personal injury attorneys today to understand your options for recovery.