I Was Hurt in a Car Wreck, Now What Do I Do?
Passengers in auto accidents have their own unique rights. Passenger rights are of the utmost importance as statistics show passengers suffer injuries at a higher frequency than drivers. Therefore, if you endure a major injury or even a slight injury in any type of auto accident in which you were a passenger, you should know legal recourse is available. Our Louisiana injury attorneys are here to help make you whole again.
How to Proceed After the Accident
The worst thing you can do following an auto accident in which you were a passenger is resign yourself to paying out-of-pocket for all expenses under the assumption you have no legal recourse. The truth is passengers have plenty of rights. As noted above, there are several methods available to pursue compensation.
The first thing to do after your auto accident is obtain medical care for your injury. If possible, document the accident with your smartphone, or pen and paper, before leaving the scene. Then, take down the names, contact information, and auto insurance information of all drivers, passengers, and witnesses.
If you feel fine after the accident, do not assume nothing is wrong with your body or mind. As an example, you might not experience the symptoms of whiplash until hours, days, or even a week after the accident. This is precisely why you should document all aspects of the accident and meet with our attorneys. If you feel even the slightest bit of pain at any point after the accident, seek medical care.
There is a good chance our legal team will be able to help you obtain compensation for your expenses related to the accident. From compensation for pain and suffering to medical expenses, lost time at work, permanent injury, and related disabilities, our attorneys are here to ensure you receive appropriate compensation.
Reach out to our Louisiana injury attorneys to evaluate your case and assess the options for legal recourse. Most passengers are shocked to learn they might have auto insurance coverage options that are not available to injured drivers. Drivers are empowered to tap into auto insurance policies applicable to the accident. Meanwhile, passengers can often draw upon their own insurance policy. Even though your car was not part of the accident, your auto insurance might apply. Our experienced auto injury attorneys are here to help you identify all forms of available insurance coverage.
Passenger Recourse After Auto Accidents
There is the potential for each driver’s auto insurance to apply to injured passengers. Our Louisiana injury attorneys are here to break down the nuances of these insurance policies, identify the specific coverages that pertain to passengers, and ultimately increase the odds of complete recovery from the injuries and losses related to the accident. Everything from liability insurance to underinsured insurance and negligence can help injured passengers obtain compensation for pain and expenses relating to the accident.
Liability coverage is especially important for injured passengers. The determination of liability attributes fault for the accident. If both drivers have minimal liability coverage limits, the apportionment of liability is of primary concern. If you suffer serious injuries as a passenger in an auto accident, it might be possible to reach the policy limits on both drivers’ liability insurance regardless of liability apportionment.
Underinsured or Uninsured Coverage
Though it is hard to believe, some automobile owners drive without auto insurance. Furthermore, some drivers are severely underinsured. A driver who lacks insurance and is proven to have acted in a negligent manner has not done the injured passenger(s) any favors. In some cases, it is possible to directly sue the uninsured for related damages. Yet, this approach does not have a chance to prove successful unless he or she has savings or assets of value. Our attorneys are here to analyze each driver’s auto insurance and determine how the uninsured/underinsured coverage impacts your passenger injury case.
Comparative Negligence and Underinsured/Uninsured Drivers
If the driver of the vehicle in which you suffered injury as a passenger was not at fault or only slightly at fault, you might be able to obtain recovery through his or her underinsured/uninsured coverage. This coverage is applicable to the portion of damages induced by the other party’s negligence. As a result, if the operator of the automobile in which you were injured was completely at fault or largely at fault, legal recourse is available through his or her liability policy. However, there is a spectrum of coverages across various auto insurance policies that can make comparative negligence claims quite complex.
If both drivers lack adequate coverage to pay for expenses related to your injury as a passenger, it is possible to make a claim against your own uninsured/underinsured coverage. Though most Louisiana drivers have automobile insurance, there is a decent chance one of the drivers responsible for your accident could be underinsured. As long as you have not waived your underinsurance coverage, our Louisiana injury attorneys can help you in your quest to obtain the compensation you deserve.
Passenger injuries open the door for claims against the driver responsible for the accident. In some cases, the one found to be at fault is the driver of the vehicle in which the passenger is riding. However, in other cases, it is the driver of the other car who acted in a negligent manner.
Negligence is a legal term meaning the failure to provide due care to others. Victims can file claims against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance liability coverage.
In some cases, both drivers acted in a careless manner. If both drivers are at-fault, negligence and subsequent liability apply divided between each of the drivers. Our Louisiana injury attorneys can help you file claims against each driver under their respective auto insurance liability policies.
Car Crashes Involving Multiple Passengers
If the accident injures several passengers, each can file a claim against the at-fault driver. If the combined value of such injuries is greater than the at-fault driver’s insurance maximum, each injured party must settle with that driver. Unfortunately, such settlements tend to be less than the actual value of the case. This reduced payout is the result of each injured party attempting to pull money from the same limited money pool.
There are some instances in which the injured parties cannot agree to the amount each should be provided. If this is the case, the insurance provider will likely refuse to settle. Our Louisiana personal injury attorneys will prove invaluable in such a situation. We will file a suit on your behalf to ensure you are provided with as much financial compensation as possible.
Contact our Louisiana Injury Attorneys Today
You deserve compensation for your injuries even if you were not behind the wheel at the time of the accident. Contact our Louisiana injury attorneys to schedule an appointment. We provide free consultations. Further, we won’t collect any fee unless our attorneys win your case. Give Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys a call at (504) 345-1111 to learn more about how we can help obtain compensation for your pain, injuries, lost wages, and diminished quality of life. Our office is open 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m, Monday through Friday, yet we are always available, 24/7. If you would like to contact us online, we have a convenient LiveChat feature on our website.
The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.