Passenger in a Car Accident? Here’s What You Need to Know.
Being involved in a car accident that you were not responsible for can be stressful and confusing. As a passenger, you know that you certainly were not to blame for the accident. In most cases, passengers have an easier case than either driver involved. This situation may become complicated when the insurance companies do not agree about which driver is liable for the accident.
What is a Third-Party Injury Claim?
A third-party injury claim is the legal term for making a claim against someone else’s auto insurance policy. Passengers involved in an accident will file a third-party injury claim against the “at fault” driver’s insurance company, and possibly even the driver of the vehicle they were in. The circumstances of your filing can vary, as you do not have to file against just one of the driver’s insurance companies – you can file against both.
Determining Who’s at Fault and Liable.
Passengers are not expected to prove liability. If the accident involved multiple vehicles, the police, insurance companies, and sometimes the court will establish who is at fault.
Arizona is a comparative fault state, which means that drivers can be deemed at-fault for a percentage of the accident. For example, one driver may be 70% responsible, and the other 30% to blame. This means the first driver’s insurance company will pay 70% of the damages. The second driver’s insurance company will pay 30% of the damages to the injured party. It’s not uncommon for the drivers’ insurance companies to disagree on how much their drivers were liable.
3 Things to Do If You’re a Passenger After a Car Accident:
Your actions following an accident can significantly impact the ability to receive compensation for your injuries. If you’ve been a passenger in a car accident, it’s important to:
- Call the Police. Whenever you’re involved in an accident, it’s always important to call 911 from the collision scene. Try to remain calm while answering their questions as clearly and as accurately as possible.
- Report the Accident to your Insurance Company. Even if you are sure that the other driver (or a third party) was at fault, you are still required to report the accident under the terms of your policy. Do not share any more information than is necessary to avoid costly mistakes. It would be best if you left it up to your attorney to deal with the insurance companies on your behalf.
- Contact a Lawyer. You shouldn’t wait until the insurance companies attempt to deny your payment before seeking legal counsel. Hiring a car accident attorney at the outset of your claim will give you the best chance to receive the maximum compensation as quickly as possible. If the insurance companies refuse to settle, your attorney will be prepared to take your case to trial.
What Am I Entitled to After Being a Passenger in An Accident?
Depending on what occurred during and after the accident, you could file a suit for further damages, including:
- Present and future medical costs
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
Remember that you are filing a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Don’t let it deter you if the at-fault driver is a friend. Your friend won’t be the one paying your bills. Unfortunately, it gets trickier if the driver is a family member. Their insurance company may not allow you to file a claim against a family member’s liability insurance.
Injured in an Arizona Car Accident? Zanes Law is Here for You.
At Zanes Law, our Arizona car accident attorneys have the experience and resources needed to win car accident cases big or small. There will be no pressure, just compassionate advice on your third-party injury claim and to provide you with answers and support during this stressful time.
Give us a call today at (833) 629-7684 or fill out the contact form to schedule your FREE consultation.
Zanes Law – We Handle Your Claim from A to Z.
Get Your Free Case Evaluation
- Everything You Need to Know About Grocery Store Slip & Fall Accidents
- Stay Safe on the Road: Essential Bicycle Safety Tips
- Passenger in a Car Accident? Here’s What You Need to Know.
- Saying These 5 Things After an Accident Can Hurt Your Settlement
- Zanes Law Awards $2,700 College Scholarship to Texas Tech University Student