Passenger Injuries and Legal LiabilityBy Gabriel Levin on February 28th, 2018
Car accidents are dangerous and can be terrifying. This is never truer than when you are a passenger in one of the cars involved and, therefore, have absolutely no control over what befalls you. If you’ve been injured in a car accident that was caused by either the driver of the vehicle in which you’re riding or by the other vehicle’s driver, you may be entitled to compensation – if one or both of the drivers’ negligence can be confirmed. These claims are often complicated, but your rights and your rightful compensation matter too much to leave to chance; consult with an experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyer.
Your Passenger-Injury Claim
If you’ve been injured as a passenger in a car accident, there is no question about your liability in relation to the accident (in nearly every case), so your claim is easier to pursue from that standpoint. At least one of the drivers involved in the accident will almost certainly be found liable for any damage that ensues. To bring a successful passenger-injury claim, it’s your job to demonstrate who’s at fault for the accident that caused you to be injured and to prove the extent of the injuries you’ve suffered.
If you’ve incurred an injury in a car accident when you were the passenger, you have legal rights that matter. Protect those rights by consulting with an experienced Philadelphia car accident attorney today. At The Levin Firm, our skilled car accident lawyers are experienced at defending passenger-injury claims, and we’re here to help.
The Car Accident
Car accidents tend to be harrowing and aren’t necessarily conducive to making the best decisions related to ensuing legal claims. Nevertheless, there are steps that you can take to help ensure the viability and strength of your passenger-injury claim:
- If you’re not seriously injured and someone else is, do whatever you can to protect that individual’s safety until emergency medical help arrives.
- If you’re injured, seek immediate medical attention.
- If you are able (enlist the help of a bystander if you’re not able), ensure that you compile all available evidence at the scene of the accident:
- Use your smartphone to take pictures and videos of the accident and accident site from every angle. Don’t leave out views of anything that could prove pertinent to your accident claim.
- Sketch the location of the accident and include indicators of any mitigating circumstances or obstacles (such as inclement weather, bad road conditions, debris on the road, obstacles to clear vision, and any other driving impediments) and their placement in relation to the accident.
- Obtain eyewitness testimonies to corroborate your account of what transpired, and don’t forget to record eyewitness contact information.
- Jot down exactly what happened in your own words as soon as you can. Car accidents are overwhelming, and your memory can begin to play tricks on you or fade under the stress of the ensuing mayhem.
If you’ve been injured as a passenger in a car accident, you may experience intense physical, psychological, and financial consequences that are difficult to calculate at the outset. Your financial outlay may include lost wages, decreased earning potential (if the injury is chronic), and extensive medical expenses:
- Emergency transportation from the scene of the accident;
- Emergency medical care;
- Appointments with doctors and specialists, including surgeons and physical therapists;
- Ongoing medical treatment and therapy;
- Prescription medications;
- Adaptive medical devices;
- Home adaptations; and
- Home health care.
The expense associated with car accidents can be immense, and this is not to mention the pain and suffering you’ve probably had to endure. Passenger-injury claims can become very complicated very quickly; it’s therefore in your and your claim’s best interest to consult with an experienced Philadelphia car accident attorney as soon as possible.
The Insurance Companies
A variety of insurance companies might come into play when you’ve been injured as a passenger in a car accident. Your own car insurance policy (if you have one) is likely to cover you, but how well it will do so depends upon the kind of insurance you purchased in the first place (this can be tricky to parse, but your car accident attorney will guide you efficiently through the process of determining how well you’re covered by your own policy). The at-fault driver’s insurance policy is probably another viable option.
It’s important to note that your insurance company, though it does cover you, is in the business of turning a profit and that your just compensation is not necessarily its primary objective. Yes, these companies are held to federal, state, and industry standards, but they are for-profit business concerns that endeavor to make as much profit within these parameters as possible.
Put simply; don’t trust your insurance company to fully compensate you for your injuries of its own free will. You’ll need a car accident attorney to guide your claim toward just compensation.
Additionally, you are not required to provide any insurance representative with comments related to the accident. These companies are adept at using your own words against you when it comes to compensating you for your injuries, so allow your attorney to do the talking.
Car-accident claims are often complicated, and passenger-injury claims are no exception. While it’s natural to feel overwhelmed by the process, fight the urge to simply put it out of your mind by allowing the insurance company to cover your damages – which is what you pay it to do. Your claim is too important to leave to the vagaries of your insurance provider.
Further, it’s important to act quickly, Pennsylvania implements a two-year statute of limitations (from the accident date) for bringing car accident claims.
If You’ve Been Injured as a Passenger in a Car Accident, Consult with a Skilled Philadelphia Car Accident Attorney
Car accident claims are often complicated, but in Philadelphia is here to help. Our dedicated car accident attorneys have the experience, skill, and compassion to aggressively advocate for your claim’s most positive outcome, so please or call us at 215-825-5183 today.