How to Protect Yourself as a Passenger in a Car Accident
We have talked about PIP coverage previously and it comes up again here in the context of passenger protection. PIP coverage not only pays for part of driver’s injuries but can also cover your injuries as a passenger in someone else’s vehicle. So, just like when you are the driver, it is good to have PIP as a passenger to cover medical expenses your health insurance may not cover. Check your insurance policy to make sure you have PIP coverage.
You May Need to File Claims Against Both Drivers
Passengers are in a unique position in that they are seldom at fault in an accident and may have multiple parties who are potentially at fault for their injury. This could mean that a passenger needs to file a claim against the driver of their vehicle who might be a friend. Generally, this is not a major concern if the driver has sufficient insurance because the insurance company will usually settle and the claim will not lead to a lawsuit. However, as we have discussed in previous posts, many drivers are uninsured or underinsured. Even if it might lead to a suit, you should still file the claim against the driver for your injuries. Suits against a driver are really suits against their insurance company who is standing in the place of the driver for purposes of the claim.
Passengers Need Their Own Attorney
Because the driver of the vehicle you are in may be at fault and because this can lead to adverse claims or suits, passengers should get a separate attorney from the driver. Even if you think the driver of the other vehicle might be at fault, information could be discovered later that changes fault/ liability and it is better to have an attorney who is looking after your interests from the beginning.
If you or someone you know was a passenger in a car accident and would like to know more about the necessary steps to complete their claim, attorneys at the Joyce Law Firm are experienced in personal injury claims and are available for consultation. The Joyce Law Firm is also able to negotiate with the insurance companies and medical providers on your behalf. Call the Joyce Law Firm today at (479) 442-5577.