What to do if You’re a Passenger in a Car AccidentTrusted Content
Legally reviewed by:Erik Abrahamson, J.D. February 12, 2019
A car accident can be a frightening experience for everyone involved. If you were a passenger injured in a car accident, you might be especially confused about what comes next. If you were hurt in a car accident as a passenger, you have a right to seek compensation for your injuries. There are important steps you should take after the accident to protect yourself.
Get Medical Treatment
It is important that you get medical treatment as soon as possible after an accident. Even if you think that you have not been injured, you may have an injury that doesn’t present itself immediately. Therefore, it is better to err on the safe side and see a doctor.
Get Insurance Information
As a passenger, you want to make sure you get the insurance information of the car you were a passenger in, from the driver of the car you were a passenger in, and the drivers of any other cars involved in the accident. Also, make sure to get the report number for any police reports made as a result of the accident.
File For PIP Benefits
If you own a vehicle you can file a claim for personal injury protection (PIP) benefits against your own auto insurance. You must get medical treatment within 14 days of the accident in order to be eligible for PIP benefits.
If you don’t have car insurance, you may be covered by the PIP coverage of a relative you live with. Assuming you have no car insurance and do not live with a relative who does, you may be entitled to PIP benefits from the insurer insuring the car you were a passenger in. PIP covers 80% of your medical bills and 60% of lost wages.Depending on the policy limits ($10,000.00 in most cases) the severity of your injuries, these benefits may not be enough to compensate you for all of your damages.
In addition, you may be able to recover from your own or the driver’s uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM) coverage if they have it.
File a Claim Against the At-Fault Driver or Drivers
If your injuries were serious and your damages were over the limit of a PIP policy, you may be able to file a claim against the at-fault driver. If it was a multi-car accident, there’s a possibility that more than one of the drivers is responsible for the accident. In that case, your damages would be split between the drivers in proportion to their degree of fault.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured as a passenger in a car accident, it’s important that you have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we’re here to help. Contact us online or call us at 1-800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation.