As a passenger in someone else’s vehicle, reckless actions on their part or the behaviors of others on the road can leave you suffering serious and potentially life-threatening personal injuries. It is important to be aware of your rights and what you need to do if you are a passenger in the event of a car accident.
Steps to Take if You Are a Passenger in a Car Crash
According to statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), passengers are more likely than drivers to suffer serious injuries in car accidents. One of the reasons for this may be that drivers are more likely to see early warning signs of a crash, giving them additional time to protect themselves. As a passenger, one of the most important precautions you can take is not getting into a vehicle with a driver who has a history of prior car accidents or traffic infractions.
Once you are in the vehicle, wearing a seat belt is one of the few steps you can take to protect yourself. Not distracting the driver and encouraging them to follow traffic signs and signals can also help. However, even if traveling with an otherwise safe driver, car accidents can still occur. This may involve a single-vehicle crash, such as if the driver strikes a parked car or guardrail, or a collision involving another motorist.
In the event a car accident does happen, there are important steps passengers need to take in the aftermath:
Make sure the accident is reported immediately to law enforcement, even if no other vehicles are involved
Request copies of the police report, which should contain insurance information for all drivers
Make note of any witnesses at the scene and get their contact information
Get medical attention for your injuries and follow all your doctor’s instructions regarding follow-up care and activity restrictions
How Passengers Can Get Compensation For Car Accident Injuries
The South Carolina Department of Insurance advises that all drivers are required to maintain a mandatory minimum amount of insurance coverage to protect themselves and others in accidents for which they are to blame. As a passenger, you have the right to file an insurance claim seeking compensation for medical expenses and lost wages you suffer either in a single or multi-vehicle crash.
Unfortunately, insurance companies are notorious for denying these claims and there may be disputes regarding which driver was at fault. Even if they approve your claim, it may be less than what you deserve. Our Aiken car accident can aggressively negotiate with these companies on your behalf. If a reasonable settlement cannot be reached or your injuries are severe, we can guide you in filing a personal injury lawsuit against the driver, which often entitles you to additional compensation not available through insurance.
Our Aiken Car Accident Attorney Can Assist You
We hope you have a better understanding of what to do if you are a passenger in a car accident. At the Surasky Law Firm, LLC, we help passengers get the compensation they need to recover in a car accident claim. Contact our Aiken car accident attorney to request a consultation today.