If you are a passenger who was injured in a car accident, you may be wondering if you have a right to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver.
When we talk about car accidents, we may think about the vehicle’s driver as the sole victim. However, car accidents are complex and unpredictable, and all the occupants of the vehicle are exposed to the risk of injury. In fact, studies have found that front-seat passengers have the highest mortality rate in auto accidents.
If you are a passenger who was injured in a car accident, you may have many questions right now. Can you file a compensation claim? Who is going to cover the cost of your medical bills and lost wages?
Can You Get Compensation for a Car Accident As a Passenger?
Yes, you can file a claim and ask for compensation for the injuries and trauma caused by accident. As a matter of fact, you generally have the same rights as the drivers of each vehicle. However, to file a claim, you will have to determine who was at fault and gather evidence to build your case.
Determining liability is not as simple as it may seem. More often than not, there is more than just one party who contributed to the crash. Some of the commonly responsible parties could be:
- The driver of the car: The driver of the car in which you were riding as a passenger could be found at fault for the accident if it’s proven that they acted negligently and violated traffic laws, we’re distracted or drove under the influence.
- The driver of another vehicle: If the driver of the other vehicle was the one who failed to exercise responsible care, then you can file a claim against their insurance company.
- The driver of a rideshare car: If you were a passenger in a rideshare vehicle, things could get a bit more complicated. If the driver was on the clock and the app was on, the rideshare company will generally be responsible for compensating you. If the app was not on, then you will generally have to file a claim against the driver’s own insurance company.
After you’ve determined who the responsible party is, you will have to gather evidence to prove the extent of your injuries. You will need a copy of the police report, documents related to your medical care, witness statements, and so on. Make sure to keep a journal, too, in which you describe your symptoms (both physical and psychological) and how they’ve evolved in time.
Why Speak with a Car Accident Lawyer?
Car accidents are rarely straightforward, and if you were a passenger, it could be even more confusing to know what to do next. Even when it’s clear who was at fault for the incident, the burden of proof lies on your shoulders. If you were injured, you have more important things to focus on than dealing with the insurance company.
Speak with an experienced St. Louis auto accident lawyer and let them deal with the insurance companies involved. They can make sure that your rights are protected and fight to get you the compensation you are legally entitled to.
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