If you were a passenger in a car accident, you’re probably unsure about what happens next and whether or not you can seek damages. The good news is that you have the right to pursue compensation for any injuries or losses you suffered due to the crash. The bad news is that it might be difficult to determine who you should request compensation from.
Fortunately, the Thumbs Up Guys at Miller, Dawson, Sigal & Ward Injury Attorneys can assess your case and guide you through the claims process. A car accident lawyer from our firm can figure out which insurance company you should file a claim with and make sure you have the best chance possible at obtaining a fair settlement.
How You Can Seek Compensation From as a Car Accident Passenger
If you were a passenger in a car accident, you could be able to seek damages from several different sources. An attorney can help you figure out which of the following routes to compensation is right for you:
Filing a Claim With the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
South Carolina is an at-fault state, which means you’ll be able to pursue compensation from the party that caused the accident. If another motorist caused the crash, an attorney can help you file a claim with their insurance provider.
Filing a Claim With Your Driver’s Insurer
If the driver whose car you were in caused the accident, you can file a claim with their insurance company. If you’re hesitant to file a claim with their insurer because they’re your friend or family member, don’t worry. The money you receive from a claim won’t come out of their pocket but rather from their insurance provider.
Filing a Claim With Your Own Insurance Provider
South Carolina Code of Laws § 38-77-10 requires drivers to have a certain amount of auto accident liability coverage. Unfortunately, some motorists neglect to follow this statute and drive without insurance coverage.
If you were injured as a passenger in a car accident caused by an uninsured driver, you’re probably asking yourself, “what happens next?” The best answer to a problem like that is to file a claim with your own insurance company.
Pursuing a Lawsuit Against the At-Fault Driver
If the car accident you were involved in as a passenger caused losses that exceed the insurance policy’s limit or if the insurer rejects your claim, you might have to file a personal injury lawsuit. An attorney can help you collect and analyze the evidence you need to support your suit.
They’ll work hard to make sure your lawsuit is filed correctly and promptly. When it comes time to represent you in court, they’ll make a strong, fact-based argument as to why the jury should give a fair verdict.
What Passengers Should Do After a Car Accident
If you were riding in the passenger seat of a car when an accident occurred, there are a few things you should do immediately after the collision. First, you should assess your injuries and the driver’s. Call an ambulance immediately if one or both of you are seriously hurt.
Call the Police
If your injuries are mild, you’ll still want to call 911 so the police can document the accident. The accident report they file could be essential to the success of your claim. Since their report may be used as evidence in your case, make sure to stick to the facts and don’t admit fault if the police ask you for a statement.
Write Down Insurance Details
Once the police have responded to the collision scene, you’ll want to speak to the other driver involved and write down their insurance information. You should also take down your driver’s insurance details in case they’re found to be at fault for the crash.
Next, you should document the crash scene using your cell phone camera. Take photos of all vehicles involved, including dents and other forms of damage. You’ll also want to take photos of your injuries and the driver’s injuries.
Your attorney can use the photos you take of the car accident to prove that you suffered injuries as a passenger. They can also work with accident reconstructionists to use photos and other forms of evidence to determine how the accident occurred.
Talk to Witnesses
If anyone in your vicinity may have seen the crash, ask them if they would feel comfortable giving testimony about what they witnessed. Your attorney may use their statement to prove that you were injured as a passenger in the car accident.
Seek Medical Attention
Once you’ve left the accident scene, it’s important that you seek medical attention. Even if you feel alright, you should still get checked out because the adrenaline rush from the crash could be covering up the pain from a serious condition.
Seeking medical attention can also help your claim, showing the insurance company that the incident was serious and not fabricated for insurance money.
Hire a Lawyer
If you were a passenger in a car that collided with another vehicle, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible. If you must file a civil suit, you’ll have to comply with South Carolina’s statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits.
Under South Carolina Code of Laws § 15-3-530, you have three years from the date of the crash to submit a suit. Hiring an attorney soon can help ensure that your suit is filed well within the three-year time frame. A lawyer can help you understand the time limit that applies to your case and do everything they can to abide by it.
In addition to following state requirements for lawsuits, your attorney can also investigate your collision, determine how much compensation you’re owed, and fight for the damages you need to make up for the medical expenses, lost wages, and suffering you’ve been burdened with.
Contact the Thumbs Up Guys Today
Understanding what happens if you’re a passenger in a car accident can help you make smart decisions after a collision. If you’ve gotten into an accident while riding in the passenger seat, Miller, Dawson, Sigal & Ward Injury Attorneys can help you get the financial compensation you need to treat your injuries and cover any other losses you’ve suffered.
Contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation and find out if you’re eligible to pursue legal action or file an insurance claim. If we agree to help you seek damages, we’ll represent your best interests during the investigation, at insurance negotiations, and in court.