According to the Texas Department of Transportation, over 17,000 people a year sustain serious injuries on the roadways in Texas due to car accidents. While passengers typically have little reason to worry about liability, as a party to a car accident there are eight things an injured passenger should know.
1. Seek Medical Attention Immediately
If you were involved in a serious car accident, it is likely that an ambulance and the police will be contacted. Do not attempt to move if you feel severely injured. If you choose to refuse medical treatment at the scene of the accident, make sure to visit a medical professional as soon as possible for a complete evaluation.
Oftentimes, injuries can be severe and go unnoticed for hours or days after a car accident. Concussions, internal injuries, and whiplash are serious injuries that may not present symptoms until much later. Make sure to make your health a priority.
2. Exchange Information
While you were not a driver in the accident, you are a witness. You will need to exchange information with all of the other parties involved and cooperate with law enforcement in filing the official police report. Additionally, if you have suffered any injuries, you will need to know which parties to contact regarding compensation for your damages.
3. How and Where to File a Claim
Your options regarding filing a claim for your damages as a passenger are as follows:
- The driver of the vehicle you were in. You can file a claim against the driver’s insurance company of the vehicle you were in during the accident.
- Any other driver involved. You can file a claim against the insurance companies of any other driver involved that was at-fault.
- Your own insurance company. If you owned the vehicle but did not drive during the time of the accident, you may be able to file a claim with your own insurance company.
4. What to Do if a Driver Has No Insurance Coverage
While it is required by law, oftentimes drivers and motorists do not carry car insurance. If you discover that the at-fault driver (or drivers) have no insurance coverage, you should check your own personal car insurance policy. If you have “Uninsured Motorist Coverage” or “Underinsured Motorist Coverage,” it may cover your injuries.
5. Types of Damages
You may be able to file claims for your medical bills, future medical bills, property damage, lost wages, future lost wages, and pain and suffering.
6. How to Build a Strong Case
Make sure to document everything you can. If you are able to take photographs at the scene of the accident, it may help your case. Additionally, save all medical bills, notes from your employer regarding lost wages, and any other documentation regarding your pain and suffering. These documents will help as you move forward with your claims.
7. Be Careful When Talking to Insurance Companies
Insurance companies may refuse to pay your claim, or they may attempt to give you a settlement that is less than you deserve. Either way, take caution when dealing with insurance companies, as they rarely will have your best interest in mind.
8. Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one were injured as a passenger in a car accident, contact the experienced car accident attorneys at the Lowenberg Law Firm today. We can help you determine who to file a claim against and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.
Our attorneys are dedicated to helping car accident victims recover compensation for their injuries. Contact our legal team at 832-761-9082 or online today for a free consultation regarding your case.