If you were a passenger involved in a Pennsylvania car accident, you may have a number of questions about how to seek and receive compensation for the injuries, damages and losses you may have sustained. Generally speaking, passengers don’t have as tough a case to prove as drivers might because passengers are not active participants. One of the drivers involved in the incident would probably be found liable for the accident.
However, a majority of cases involving passengers are not as straight forward. Passengers may be hesitant to file a claim because they may have been riding with a friend or family member. Individuals don’t want to sue their loved one or dear friend. But, when you are injured and are in need of compensation to cover medical expenses and wages lost while healing from your injuries, filing a claim becomes inevitable.
It Depends on the Type of Incident
If you are injured in a single-car accident, you may have a claim against the driver’s insurance to seek compensation. Pennsylvania is a “Choice No Fault” state. This means that drivers can either opt in or opt out of “no fault” rules. However, drivers must make this choice at the time of purchasing the insurance. You cannot do it after an accident has happened. If your driver has no fault insurance, you could file a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or No Fault claim against the driver for your medical bills and lost earnings. Once you have been treated for your injuries, you may wish to enter a settlement with the driver’s insurance company.
If the incident involved two vehicles, there may be some conflict regarding who was at fault. This usually plays out between the insurance companies that are involved. When the incident is a multi-vehicle accident, things could become even more complex because each of the injured parties will file claims against the negligent driver. Such cases usually involve several insurance companies, multiple eyewitness accounts and even defense counsel, which could make matters really complicated.
What Should Passengers Do?
If you have been injured in a car accident, there are a number of steps you can take in order to protect your rights. First, make sure your name is on the police report so there is no question you were there and you were injured in the accident. Try to collect as much evidence as possible from the scene of the crash including names, driver’s license information, auto insurance and contact information for all parties involved.
If there were eyewitnesses who saw the events unfold, be sure to get their names and contact information as well. Get prompt medical attention, treatment and care for your injuries. Save all receipts, invoices and medical records connected to the incident. Do not rush into a settlement with the insurance company. Doing so could jeopardize your claim and prevent you from seeking compensation for any future medical expenses you may incur as a result of the injuries you suffered.
Why You Need an Experienced Lawyer
Contact an experienced Pennsylvania car accident lawyer who will remain on your side, fight for your rights and help ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries and losses. Car accident claims involving passengers could become complex and challenging. A knowledgeable attorney can help you through the process and help achieve the best possible outcome.