Passengers have every right to pursue a personal injury claim after being injured in a car accident, but don’t expect the insurance company make the process easy for you.
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident while riding as a passenger, you likely have a lot of questions. Am I covered by the driver’s insurance policy? Should I wait for the insurance company to contact me? Should I file a claim directly with my own insurance company? Who’s going to cover my medical bills and compensate me for missing work?
Before anything else, the first thing you need to do is seek proper medical attention for your injuries. This is the most-important step to any personal injury claim. Not only are medical expenses the primary factor in determining the potential value of your claim, but failing to seek treatment in a timely manner can result in the insurance company denying your claim altogether. If you truly cannot afford to see a doctor, a personal injury lawyer may be able to get you treatment through an LOP.
The second thing you should do is gather evidence if at all possible. Do you have an accident report? Have you written down your recollection of the event while it’s still fresh in your mind? Do you have any pictures of the accident scene? Most importantly, do you have the driver’s (or both drivers’) insurance information?
Before speaking to the insurance company about a potential claim, it’s in your best interests to speak to a personal injury attorney first. At Montgomery Law, our Dallas car accident lawyers can investigate the facts of your case for no cost to you. In fact, if hired, we will help you through the entire process on a no-win no-fee basis. Under no circumstances will you ever pay us out of pocket to handle your claim.
You’re probably aware that you’ll need to file an accident claim with the insurance company in order to begin the claims process, but where do you start? Should you (as a passenger) file a claim with the driver’s insurance company? The other driver’s insurance company? Your own insurance company? The truth is: it depends. In many cases, you may even be required to file a claim with all three.
Even when fault seems clear and obvious, liability is a complicated subject. Texas uses the “Modified Comparative Fault Rule,” which states that more than one party can share blame for an accident. Let’s say that a court places 80% of the fault on one driver for failing to yield, and 20% on the other driver for failing to control their speed. If you only filed a claim with one driver’s insurance policy, you’ll never be able to recover 100% of your total damages.
If you’re related to the driver and were injured in an accident that was their fault, special rules may actually limit the amount of money you’re able to seek in a claim. Things obviously become even more complicated if the car crash involved an uninsured motorist or excluded driver.
Even if the other driver is insured, if your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages total more than $30,000, there’s a real good chance that the at-fault driver’s insurance policy won’t be large enough to cover the expenses you’ve incurred. In these situations, you may have no other choice than to file a UM/UIM claim with your own insurance policy—even though you weren’t driving or even in your car.
As with any other personal injury claim, even your own insurance company will look for any reason possible to deny coverage, contest the amount of your damages, or otherwise pay out as little as possible on every claim. Luckily, our law firm’s job is to help people just like you get every penny they’re owed.
If you’ve been injured as a passenger in a motor vehicle accident, call Montgomery Law today to discuss the facts of your case. The insurance company and their lawyers have a vested interest in paying out as little as possible, and you deserve to have someone looking out for your best interests.
Feel free to reach out to us today and have a lawyer answer your legal questions at no cost. If we feel as though you have a viable case, we can even handle your entire claim on a no-win no-fee basis. Montgomery Law is dedicated to helping car accident victims recover the compensation they deserve, and our attorneys can be reached 24 hours a day at 214-720-6090 (local) or 1-833-720-6090 (toll-free).