Most passengers injured in vehicle accidents are innocent bystanders and bear no responsibility for what happened to them. Passengers can sustain severe injuries during vehicle accidents and, just like the drivers, are entitled to seek compensation for damages. In this blog post, we’ll examine how the claims process works for passenger injuries and how important it is to seek the help of a car accident lawyer.
Passenger Injuries in a Car Accident
Car accidents can lead to various injuries, and passengers should be aware of the risks. As a passenger, you could experience serious injuries like:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and concussions. Both conditions require immediate medical attention.
- Spinal cord injuries, either complete or incomplete, could result from the accident’s impact.
- Whiplash injuries, caused by rapid back-and-forth motions of the neck, are common.
- Stress from the accident can trigger heart attacks, particularly among those aged 65 and above.
- Soft tissue injuries like sprains, strains, and bruising can affect joints and muscles.
- Limb injuries, e.g., broken bones, dislocated joints, and even loss of limbs in severe cases.
- Penetrating injuries from objects flung during impact can occur.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a non-physical consequence of accidents, causing long-term emotional wounds that may require mental health treatment.
Passengers can significantly enhance their chances of protecting themselves and getting necessary compensation after a car accident by understanding the potential damages that may arise.
What to Do if You Are a Passenger in a Car Accident
If you’re a passenger involved in a vehicle accident, your safety is priority number one. Receiving immediate medical care is crucial. After reaching out for assistance, follow these steps:
Call the Police and File a Report
Contact the local police department to report an accident. It’s always wise to contact the police after an accident, even if you’re unsure of the seriousness of the injuries.
Gather Driver’s Information
Start with the car you were riding in when the accident occurred. Take photos of the driver’s identification, front and back. Write down the name of their insurance provider and policy number for future claims.
Collect Other Drivers’ Insurance Details
If your driver hasn’t done so, ask other drivers for their information and save it somewhere.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer
Consulting an experienced car accident lawyer in South Carolina is an essential first step toward ensuring that those responsible for the accident are held accountable for any medical costs.
How To File a Claim as An Injured Passenger
South Carolina follows a “fault” or “at-fault” insurance system. This system means the person responsible for the accident is typically liable for damages.
If another driver caused the accident, you may file a claim against their insurance policy. Just the same— if the driver of your vehicle was found to be at fault, pursuing a claim against them is one way to seek compensation.
Keep in mind that insurance claims can quickly become complex. Having a lawyer can be beneficial in such cases. They will help you understand your options and make informed choices.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer for Assistance
By consulting with a car accident lawyer, vehicle passengers injured in an accident can ensure their rights are protected. An attorney can manage all aspects of seeking compensation, including communicating with the insurance companies about the claim and evaluating settlement proposals. They can also initiate and pursue legal action on the passenger’s behalf.
As attorneys support drivers involved in car accidents, they can also represent passengers. Of course, there are some critical differences in how an attorney would pursue compensation for these two categories of victims. One huge difference is that drivers and insurers can both owe a financial responsibility toward an injured passenger.
Getting into a car accident as a passenger can lead to unique challenges. Reaching out for medical attention is a crucial first step. Once you’re safe, reach out to the expert team at Joye Law Firm for invaluable legal representation. We will do our part to help you navigate the claims process and fight for the compensation you need.