What Happens If You’re a Passenger in a Car Crash?
If you were hurt as a passenger in an auto accident, you can file a claim or lawsuit to recover damages. In a no-fault state like Florida, you would file your claim with the driver’s personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Depending on your injury’s severity, you could also file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer or sue.
Understanding your next steps in an auto accident can prove overwhelming. That’s where our car accident lawyer can step in. If you suffered injuries as a passenger in a car accident, we encourage you to call (954) 633-8270. We can assess your case and advocate for what you deserve.
Passengers Could Seek Damages Through an Auto Accident Claim or Lawsuit
You may have these options when recovering your losses if you were a passenger in an auto accident:
You Could File a Claim With the Driver’s PIP Coverage
Per the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), all motorists must carry at least $10,000 in PIP coverage. This generally pays for reasonable medical treatment expenses and passengers are typically covered under the driver’s policy. Yet, if you suffered serious injuries, this coverage may not fully account for your healthcare.
You Could File a Claim With the At-Fault Driver’s Coverage
Many people think that because Florida’s a no-fault state, they can’t pursue damages outside of their own insurer. That’s where they’re mistaken. If you suffered serious injuries (as defined by Florida Statutes § 627.737), you could file a third-party liability claim. This could offer compensation for your remaining healthcare expenses and other damages.
You Could File a Lawsuit Against the At-Fault Driver
If an insurance claim doesn’t yield compensation for your injury-related losses, you could sue the at-fault party. The at-fault party in your case could be another motorist, a government agency, or a parts manufacturer. Suing comes with many obligations, but it could ultimately offer the financial recovery you need.
Keep in mind that all lawsuits come with filing deadlines. Per Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a), you typically have four years to initiate legal proceedings. Some exceptions, like those named under Florida Statutes § 95.051, could give you more time to act.
Our trial-ready team can manage your lawsuit’s many obligations from start to finish. That way, you can focus your energy on your friends, family, and healing.
Your Next Steps After Suffering Injuries as a Passenger in an Auto Accident
If you suffered injuries as a passenger in a collision, you may have questions about your next steps. First and foremost, you should seek medical attention. You should also follow your prescribed treatment plan, which may include attending physical therapy, taking medications, and going on bed rest.
Some other considerations in the aftermath of your auto accident include:
Keeping All Evidence Related to Your Case
As your case unfolds, you’ll inevitably accumulate some pieces of evidence, all of which could prove instrumental in your case. You should keep track of:
- All receipts, invoices, and billing statements related to your damages
- Written correspondence between you and the involved parties
- Medical records that detail your treatment plan
- Property damage repair estimates
- Photos or videos related to the incident
You want as much information as possible to support your injury claim. In our experience, the more evidence we have, the better.
Refusing To Give a Recorded Statement
The liable party’s insurance company may ask for a recorded statement, claiming that it wants your side of the story. Yet, a recorded statement ultimately serves a different purpose – it gives the insurer the opportunity to contest your case.
You don’t have to give the insurer a recorded statement. You only have to supply the necessary information to bolster your claim. This information may include your contact details, the time and date of the accident, and your injury’s severity.
Limiting What You Share Online
In the digital world, everything’s public––even the posts you share online. You might want to make a post sharing that you’re seeking medical care and feel “fine” in the aftermath of your collision. Yet, the insurance company could interpret this to mean that you didn’t suffer severe injuries, and you don’t require as much compensation as you’re requesting.
So, we recommend that while your case unfolds, be very mindful of what you share on social media.
Weighing Your Legal Options
Pursuing damages as an injured auto accident claimant isn’t easy. Throw in some issues regarding fault and liability, and you’ve got yourself a complicated legal matter. In this situation, you may wonder what options you have. One of those options involves entrusting your case to our injury team.
For more than 20 years, our car accident Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers have recovered millions for people in situations just like yours. In one car accident case we resolved, we secured more than $3 million for our client.
Call the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato To Learn More About Seeking Compensation as a Passenger
You can put your worries to rest in the aftermath of a car accident by consulting our team. We at Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato offer free case reviews where we can discuss your claim at no obligation. Dial (954) 633-8270 to get started.