Can Passengers Get Compensated in Car Accident Lawsuits?

Close up of young woman fastening safety belt in car.

If you are riding along as a passenger, you might feel a little helpless in the event of an accident. Especially if your injuries are extensive, you are probably wondering what your options are as far as compensation is concerned. The good news is that you can, in fact, get compensated for your injuries if you are the passenger during an accident. After fault has been determined, you can proceed, and a Winston-Salem personal injury lawyer can help.

Filing Against the Driver

If the driver of the vehicle you were in was responsible for the accident, you can file a claim against the insurance of that driver. Their liability coverage has the potential to pay for your injuries that you sustained during the incident.

There are, however, special rules that may apply if you are related to and currently living with the driver. In such cases, you might technically already be covered by the driver’s insurance, so you would be making a claim against your own policy, which you typically can’t do.

Also note that if you are somehow responsible for the accident, your recovery may be reduced. For instance, if you grabbed ahold of the steering wheel, causing the incident, you may be held partially at fault.

Filing Against the Opposing Driver

Alternatively, if you are involved in an accident where the driver of the other vehicle is at fault, you can file a claim against their insurance. While you can receive compensation this way, please note that the amount you receive cannot exceed the total value of the claim. So if the amount of damages is valued at $50,000, you cannot receive $70,000 worth of compensation.

If the driver of the vehicle you were in has coverage that does not provide enough to pay for the entirety of your injury-related expenses, you may receive the remaining amount by filing against the other driver.

Using Your Own Insurance

When you’re in a bind and need more immediate coverage to help with your medical expenses after an accident, you can make a claim for medical payments, or “med pay,” with your own insurance provider. Doing so will help pay for your medical bills but not pain and suffering or for lost wages. These claims can have pretty low limits though, which might not make this the ideal solution for you if your injuries are extensive.

One benefit to filing with your own insurance, however, is that liability is not usually a concern, and you can be compensated not matter who was at-fault. If you do file a med pay claim with your provider, be sure to deduct these earnings from the total amount you can receive, so that you don’t “double dip” or exceed the total value of the claim, discussed earlier.

Working with a Winston-Salem Personal Injury Lawyer

In an effort to maximize the amount of compensation you receive for your injuries, consider hiring an experienced attorney. The right professional will work with you to build your case, so that you may be properly awarded the financial assistance you deserve. Contact Mike Lewis Attorneys law offices today to learn more about how we can help you when you’re victim to an accident.

Call 866-299-1769 or use the Free Case Evaluation form to schedule a free consultation.
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