What are the Legal Rights of a Passenger Injured in a Wreck?
Car, truck and bus collisions can cause serious injuries to innocent by-standers. These by-standers are typically passengers in a vehicle driven by a family member, a friend, or a co-worker. Sometimes, passengers may be hurt when riding on a bus or another form of public transport (think MARTA, Cobb County Transit, Gwinnett County Transit, etc). Like any other accident claim, a passenger is afforded the same legal rights and may bring an injury lawsuit against any persons who are at fault for causing their injuries.
What to Do if You are a Passenger?
It is important to notify all insurance companies that may cover your losses (make sure to get medical care first). This would include insurance that covers the vehicle you were in, the driver who was driving the vehicle you were in, the owner of the vehicle you were in, as well as the other car, truck or bus involved in the wreck. You should also notify any insurance companies that cover your own vehicle or list you on the policy as an insured. These insurance policies may cover your injuries, especially if you have been seriously injured and have incurred significant medical bills and lost wages.
Common Issues in a Passenger Injury Case?
Passenger injury cases are unique as both drivers may try and blame each other for causing the wreck. A dispute may arise regarding who had the green light, which will put you squarely in the middle. Luckily, finger pointing will not be directed at you, because as a passenger, you should not be at any fault for causing the collision. However, passengers may need to file a lawsuit against naming all persons involved in an accident to obtain just and fair compensation.
But I am Suing a Family Member or Friend …
Unfortunately, your injury case may involve bringing a lawsuit against a family member or close friend. Just remember that you are not asking your family member or friend to give you money out of their own pocket. Rather, you are asking the insurance company that covers your family member or friend to do the right thing and cover your injury losses. Your relationship may change after an accident; but remember that is why people purchase insurance so as to cover the accidents they cause. Your family member or friend shouldn’t have an issue with you bringing a claim against their insurance.
Medical Payments (MEDPAY) to Pay for Medical Bills
In certain circumstances, your medical bills may be paid for by the insurance company while you get better. Look for MEDPAY coverage on either the car you were in at the time of the wreck, or your own car insurance policies. MEDPAY, which is optional insurance, covers medical bills up to a certain limit following an accident regardless of who is ultimately at fault. Another benefit of MEDPAY is that it won’t affect your ability to go after the drivers who caused your injuries and help you collect for lost wages, pain and suffering and future medical bills.