Often when a car accident occurs the drivers are at the center of attention. What about instances whereby a passenger is injured in such a vehicle accident? Such a passenger may be eligible for compensation for their injuries, however, in order to recover such compensation, there are a number of factors that must be met; this article will discuss these factors.
In order for a passenger to be eligible for compensation for injuries sustained in a car accident, certain factors must be taken into consideration. Some of these factors include the following:
- Liability - this is a key factor in any personal injury claim as it determines to whom the claim shall be directed to, and such a person or their insurance company are responsible for paying out compensation. In order to recover compensation in a car insurance claim, the passenger will need to show that the driver was liable. There are instances where one or more drivers may be liable for the accident. When two drivers are at fault it may be possible to file claims against both insurance companies based on shared fault.
- Damages - the passenger may only claim for damages[Damages | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)] that are a direct result of the accident. Such damages may include property repairs, medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost wages. In order to be compensated for damages the onus is on the passenger to provide proof of the damages that were suffered as a result of the accident.
- Filing your claim - a passenger personal injury claim is similar to a claim filed by a driver in a car accident. As such it is necessary for the passenger to get insurance information from both drivers. It is important to note that the process of filing a claim differs depending on the type of state the accident occurred. Claims are filed differently when accidents happen in no-fault states as the requirements are different as there’s no need to prove negligence. For legal advice and representation in filing your personal injury claim contact Anchorage law firms specializing in personal injury matters.
- Settlement - the majority of personal injury matters are settled before the matter goes to court. Attempting to settle a claim can be difficult as each party may claim that the other was negligent and in instances where there are multiple passengers who were in the vehicle and sustained damages. Where multiple passengers suffered serious injuries as a result of the accident, they may each need to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver so as to recover compensation for their damages. However, when a settlement offer is put on the table it is of the utmost importance to have a lawyer so as to ensure that you are receiving a fair settlement amount. In addition, legal representation is extremely important as you are unable to continue your claim after signing a settlement agreement.
Comparative fault - this can be an issue if the passenger was interfering with the driver and his/her operation of the vehicle or contributed to the accident. This awards fault to the passenger and reduces their compensation amount based on their percentage of responsibility for the accident.