If you are injured as a passenger in a car accident, your claim will proceed somewhat differently than it would if you were a driver. The significant distinction is that, as a passenger, you have no liability in the matter, and the insurance coverage of the at-fault driver is responsible for covering your damages. Obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled, however, can become very complicated very quickly, which makes working closely with an experienced car accident attorney well advised.
Typically, Passenger Liability Is Not an Issue
As a passenger, you typically have no bearing on the issue of liability in the event of an accident. There are, however, activities a passenger can engage in that alter this presumption, including:
- A passenger who dangerously distracts the driver
- A passenger whose refusal to wear his or her seatbelt causes or exacerbates his or her injuries
- A passenger who entices or encourages a driver to speed dangerously
- A passenger who engages in any other form of negligence that contributes to or causes an accident
In the majority of cases, however, passengers’ damages are covered by the at-fault party or parties’ insurance policies.
Being injured as a passenger in a car accident is a terrifying experience that you have little to no control over. The damages you suffer can be immense, including:
- Your ensuing medical costs
- Lost hours and earnings on the job
- Emotional and physical pain and suffering
Obtaining compensation that covers your full range of damages in their entirety is the best way to help ensure that you are able to reach your most complete recovery.
When Both Drivers Are at Fault
If both motorists involved in the accident share responsibility, it may be necessary to file a claim with both insurance providers, which further complicates an already complicated process. When both drivers share fault, determining the percentage of fault borne by each is often a hotly contested issue, which can leave your claim hanging in the balance. Shared fault tends to extend the claims process, but do not let that dissuade you from seeking the compensation to which you are entitled.
Med Pay Coverage
While you are waiting for your claim to be settled, your medical bills probably continue to mount. This point is where the med pay coverage in your own car insurance policy comes into play. Med pay coverage addresses medical payments only, and because it is not based on liability, you do not need to wait until the matter of liability is resolved. Med pay coverage payments are earmarked strictly for medical expenses that are associated with the accident, and there tend to be strict financial caps in place. The amount you receive in med pay coverage will ultimately be subtracted from your final settlement or court-awarded amount.
Discuss Your Claim with an Experienced Attorney Today
Attorney Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, has the experience, resources, and legal insight to help you, so please do not hesitate to contact us online or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.