The Innocent Party: What to Do When You Are an Injured Passenger
We have discussed in detail how you should go about filing claims after an accident when you are a driver of one of the vehicles, whether at fault or the victim. However, what if you are the passenger in one of the automobiles, or the passenger in a vehicle involved in a single-car crash? You might not be aware of the resources available to you, or the claims you are eligible for.
When you are the passenger in a vehicle, you are automatically considered not-at-fault, even if you are in the “at-fault” car. Because you were not behind the wheel, you are a victim, and that means you are eligible for multiple claims. This includes being the passenger in a vehicle involved in a single-car crash (i.e., a driver running off the road and hitting an obstacle such as a power pole). While you are covered by at least one of the involved insurance policies, which insurance provider you file with is determined by the type of accident.
In a single-car crash, you should be covered by the driver’s liability insurance, as long as you are not a relative of the driver. In a two (or multi) car crash, the most at-fault driver’s insurance provider would technically be responsible for covering injury and damages suffered by not only the other driver, but any passengers as well. However, if their coverage is not enough to meet your needs, you are also eligible to file a claim with the insurance company of the driver who you were riding with. Even though they were not at fault, they are still responsible for you as their passenger, and therefore the innocent party.
Now, this does not mean you can “double” up on claims. It simply means that you should not have to file any claims against your own insurance company and provider. The insurance companies involved in the crash should cover all of your medical and related expenses. Remember, you need to be extra careful about keeping track of records, expenses, and any and all evidence related to the accident. Even though you weren’t the driver involved in the collision, you will still need to back up your case to a certain extent, and you will likely have to provide evidence to multiple insurance providers.
If you have been injured in a crash, but were not behind the wheel, don’t let yourself continue to be a victim. Take control of your situation and make sure you are covered appropriately by those responsible. If you are overwhelmed or confused with the process, we understand and are ready to help you navigate the situation and get what you need. Sessums Law Group is proud to serve the greater Lakeland area with quality and personalized service. When a casual ride in the car with a friend turns into something unexpected, you can count on us at Sessums Law Group, we stand for YOU!