None of us ever want to get into a car accident, but most people are fairly confident they know what to do in such an event. First, you ensure your own health and safety, then that of your passengers and then other parties involved. Next, call the police, even if it’s not an emergency, so you have an objective witness. Exchange insurance information when possible (it may not be if it’s an emergency). Finally, be sure to call a law firm for representation if you’ll be moving forward with a personal injury claim.
Many people would be less sure what to do if they got hurt in a car accident, but were a passenger.
The Good News
Although getting into an accident is always a bad thing, the good news here is that, as a passenger, you actually have one of the easiest cases possible. Unlike the drivers involved, you don’t have to worry about proving who was responsible. It definitely wasn’t someone who was seated nowhere near the gas pedal and steering wheel (unless, of course, you distracted the driver).
If you got injured in an accident involving just the car you were in and another, you’ll have an extremely easy case. The vast majority of the time, there is definitely a party who is completely responsible. It will most likely be a short claim experience for you. Obviously, if your car was the only one involved, your claim is even simpler. It’s when more than two vehicles are involved, like with multiple car pileups, that things can get a bit trickier for everyone.
Filing Your Claim
For the most part, a passenger who gets injured in a car accident would file their personal injury claim just like any other type involving such an accident. The difference, though, is that you’d file it against both drivers or however many were involved. That is, of course, unless you know with relative certainty which ones were not responsible. Then, you’d just file the claim with the liable party’s insurance company or companies. As Maryland is not a “no fault” state, you don’t have to worry about filing a Personal Injury Protection or No Fault claim.
Like we mentioned earlier, as a passenger who got injured, your claim should be relatively painless. After completing medical treatment, the case should be ready for settlement. However, if two parties were involved and neither side wants to settle, the claim is going to be delayed while insurance companies and lawyers battle it out. Obviously, the more parties involved, the more complicated things become. Keep in mind, too, that if you’re not the only injured passenger trying to sue one driver, you could end up having to settle for less depending on their coverage.
Getting injured as a passenger in a car accident could mean an easy settlement. As you can see, though, things can get complicated fast. If you’re ever in need, contact us. We’re here to help.