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What to Do if You’re Injured in a Car Accident as a Passenger

What to Do if You’re Injured in a Car Accident as a Passenger

Passengers injured in a car accident face high hurdles to receiving compensation. In addition to trying to identify who is at fault, you might be unable to access certain insurance benefits, depending on the facts. The weeks following an accident are intense: you are struggling with painful injuries but also can’t receive honest answers to your questions.

Call Murphy Trial Law today. A car accident lawyer at our firm will review the facts and highlight the best way to receive compensation for your damages. Passengers are often overlooked victims of car accidents. We will answer your questions and take your injuries seriously. You can schedule a consultation with our firm by calling us or reaching out online. There is no risk to calling today.

Steps to Take after a Car Accident as a Passenger

Accidents are terrifying. Many people feel intense and immediate pain. They might be unable to move after a bad wreck. However, you should try to do the following to help with a claim to the extent possible:

  1.  Report your accident to the police: Police reports are useful, and it will be hard to obtain compensation if you don’t have one. An officer should come to the scene quickly.
  2. Obtain personal information from all drivers: It’s best to get the information from every driver involved in the accident.
  3.  Ask for insurance details: You want to know the name of the insurance company, which will make things easier when you submit a claim. Ask for insurance information from all drivers, even the driver of your vehicle.
  4. Speak with any eyewitnesses: They can help establish fault for the crash. Don’t wait for the driver of your vehicle to find this information. If you can move around and talk to people, then you should do so.
  5.  Photograph the accident scene: These pictures can help us visualize how cars collided, which helps to determine fault. Take pictures of all vehicles from many different angles. If a giant pothole contributed to the wreck, get some pictures of that, too.
  6. Receive treatment: Go to the hospital as soon as you finish at the scene. Receiving treatment is critical to fully healing from an accident. Treatment also starts a paper record of your injuries.

Identifying Fault for a Crash

As a passenger, you are not in control of any vehicle, so you aren’t at fault for the crash. However, to obtain benefits, you need to know who is responsible. Washington continues to be a fault state for motor vehicle accidents. Under this system, the driver who is at fault should cover your economic and noneconomic damages.

Typically, one of the following parties is at fault:

  • Your driver. The person driving your car could have been careless or even reckless. Speeding, distraction, and fatigue all lead to motor vehicle wrecks. Even simple mistakes like forgetting to use a turn signal could cause a wreck.
  • Another driver. A different motorist on the road could have struck your car or cut you off. They also could have been distracted or speeding. You would then sue this other driver for responsibility.
  • A third party. In a few accidents, someone else is to blame, such as the government for a road defect or a mechanic for failing to fix a defective component on your vehicle.

Our lawyers can sift through the evidence to identify the fault for the crash. You are probably banged up and not in good shape to launch an investigation. Let us do the heavy lifting for you. We can speak to witnesses and possibly search for video evidence of the collision. We might request an opportunity to inspect the vehicles.

In some cases, multiple drivers share blame. For example, the driver of your car could have been speeding, but a different motorist was distracted. In situations like these, we can often sue both motorists.

Making an Insurance Claim

At Murphy Trial Law, more than 90% of our cases settle. We can usually get the other side to agree to reasonable compensation for your injuries. Nonetheless, some cases do end up going all the way to court for various reasons, including intense disputes over fault. An attorney should review the facts as you know them and analyze the likelihood of obtaining a successful settlement.

What should I do to protect my legal rights?

Washington requires that motorists buy liability insurance to pay for damage caused by an accident. You probably suffered serious financial losses related to medical care and lost income. You also are struggling with pain and suffering. Submitting an insurance claim is a good way to obtain compensation.

If another driver strikes you, then you can submit your claim to their liability insurer. The minimum insurance in Washington will cover up to $25,000 for bodily injuries or death for one victim, up to $50,000 when two or more people are injured. The state also requires a minimum of $10,000 in property damage.

If a mechanic or the government is to blame, you can also submit a claim to them. They should have insurance to pay for your damages. Call Murphy Trial Law as soon as possible. We can handle your insurance case.

What happens if your driver is to blame? You have some options:

  1.   You could make a claim on their medical payments insurance or use your own policy. This insurance has limitations, though. It usually has a low policy limit which can only cover your health insurance deductible.
  2. You might also submit a claim on your driver’s liability coverage. You can request compensation for your financial and non-financial damages. You should speak with an attorney about your case.
  3. You might tap your own uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. This insurance would be helpful if you have losses which exceed the at-fault driver’s policy.

Untangling insurance is confusing for many. Which policy should you submit medical bills to? Who should you negotiate with first to cover your economic losses? We can help answer these questions.

Schedule a Consultation Today

Murphy Trial Law has helped countless motorists injured in a variety of car wrecks. If you were injured while riding as a passenger, contact our firm as soon as possible. Your choice of attorney is a critical decision. You should get an experienced, skillful advocate to negotiate a settlement on your behalf. Our clients have suffered concussions, whiplash, fractures, and back injuries in accidents, and many qualify for substantial financial compensation.

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