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What to Do if You're Injured in a Car Accident as a Passenger

Being in any kind of car accident is a scary, stressful experience. If you get hurt while someone else is driving, look after your health first. Call 911 if you or anyone in the car is seriously injured and do not decline medical transportation or care if you need it.

If you don’t need to leave the scene of the accident in an ambulance, stay with the driver and wait for the authorities to arrive. While you wait, take pictures of all vehicles involved, the scene, your injuries, and the drivers’ licenses, as well as insurances. Also, talk to anyone who may have witnessed the accident and obtain their contact information.

Once you leave the scene of the accident, seek medical attention – even if you do not feel hurt. Some injuries do not emerge right away, so seeing a doctor can give you peace of mind and protect your right to compensation should you choose to proceed with a bodily injury claim.

After you’ve looked after your health, you may have a few medical bills or other losses associated with the collision. You should be able to recover money for these losses through car insurance. When it comes to filing a car insurance claim, you have three options, and you may need to go through multiple insurance carriers to meet your full expenses:

FILING A CLAIM WITH YOUR DRIVER’S INSURANCE COMPANY

If the person you were in the car with caused or is in any way at fault for the accident, they may be the primary car insurance responsible for your injuries and other bills. This is considered a standard third-party insurance claim, so you will be recovering under their bodily injury liability.

Keep in mind that your claim may cause the driver’s insurance rates to increase, so if you were riding with a friend or family member, you should confirm who is at fault for the collision. If the other driver was at fault for the collision, you may not need to file a claim against your driver’s insurance company at all.

FILING A CLAIM WITH THE OTHER DRIVER’S INSURANCE COMPANY

This is another third-party insurance claim, and it works similarly to filing a claim against your driver’s insurance policy. Because insurance companies often dispute who is at fault for a car accident and sometimes split liability between 2 drivers, you may need to file claims against both insurance companies and let them decide which institution is responsible for your claim.

Ultimately, whoever is at fault for the accident will be responsible for your injuries and other losses.

USING YOUR OWN INSURANCE POLICIES

You may not have time to argue with multiple insurance companies or wait around for them to determine liability, which is why having health insurance is so important. Your health insurance may pay for the majority of your medical expenses, so the bills are taken care of immediately.

In addition to your health insurance, your own car insurance policy can be utilized. Even though you were not the cause of the accident, uninsured motorist coverage and other coverages may help you with your medical bills – especially if one or both drivers were uninsured at the time of the accident.

Before trying to determine which insurance carrier is responsible for your claim you should contact an attorney for help.

Most personal injury attorneys work off contingency fees, so you should not owe any money unless you win, and your lawyer will simply recover a small portion of your settlement or verdict.

If you want to know more about your rights or legal options after a car accident, Carichoff Law Group, P.C. offers free consultations. Additionally, our seasoned personal injury attorney, Robert Carichoff, has more than 20 years of legal experience, and our team fights for maximum compensation in every case we handle.

To speak with Robert and the rest of our team, simply call us at (916) 471-6098 or send us a message online and schedule a free consultation today!

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