Injuries caused by an auto accident can be incredibly painful and expensive to treat. Fortunately, you have the right to file an insurance claim or civil suit to get the payment you need to support your recovery, but what rights do passengers have after a car accident?
The team at Berry Law is happy to inform you that passengers in a car accident have the same rights as the driver. That means you’ll be able to pursue compensation from the at-fault party if you were getting a ride from a friend or family member when the crash occurred.
How Passengers Can Seek Damages from the at-Fault Driver After a Car Crash
Just like you would if you were driving when the collision occurred, you have the right to hold the at-fault motorist liable for your injuries and losses after a car accident. However, doing so alone can be extremely difficult, especially if you’re still recuperating from your injuries.
Luckily, an Omaha car accident lawyer can help you file a claim for compensation.
There are several ways that a lawyer can help you seek damages from the driver who caused your car accident. Here’s how an attorney might go about pursuing the payment you’re owed:
File a Claim with the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company
When a driver is injured in a collision caused by another motorist, their path to financial recovery usually starts with an insurance claim. The same can be said for passengers in car accidents. Your attorney will likely start by constructing a strong insurance claim and filing it with the at-fault driver’s provider to get you the damages you deserve.
Since insurance companies often hesitate to provide full compensation, no matter how urgent or serious the claim is, your lawyer will likely have to negotiate with insurance adjusters to get the highest payment possible. This might sound intimidating, but an experienced attorney will have what it takes to secure a fair car accident settlement on your behalf.
File a Claim With Your Own Insurance Provider
Another option for financial recovery for car accident passengers is to file a MedPay claim. If you have an auto insurance policy that covers medical payments, an attorney can seek damages from your own MedPay plan.
MedPay can provide the money you need to afford medical treatment while you wait for a settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurer. In addition to filing a claim with MedPay, you may also go through your personal health insurance policy for medical care coverage.
How Passengers Can Pursue Damages If the At-Fault Driver Is Uninsured
According to Nebraska’s insurance requirements, all drivers must carry auto insurance. That said, some motorists fail to abide by the law and drive without the insurance they need to protect others. If you were a passenger in a car accident caused by someone who is uninsured or underinsured, you’re probably wondering how you’ll get your losses covered.
If the at-fault driver doesn’t have auto insurance or their policy isn’t large enough to cover all your accident-related expenses, you could file a claim with your uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) policy. If you have a UM policy, a skilled attorney can help you prepare a claim and file it with your insurer.
What If I Was Partially at Fault for the Collision?
Although rare, some collisions are caused in part by passengers. For example, if you saw an animal in the middle of the road and grabbed the wheel, causing the car to collide with another vehicle, you may be partially responsible for the incident.
If that’s the case for you, you might still be able to recover some compensation for your medical bills and other losses. That’s because Nebraska has a modified comparative negligence rule. In other words, you can still recover damages as long as you were less than 50% responsible for the collision.
If you were less than 50% at fault, the amount of compensation you’ll be allowed to recover will be reduced proportionately to your percentage of fault. For example, if you were 30% at fault for the crash and incurred $30,000 in damages, you may recover up to $21,000.
Berry Law’s Team Provides You With Multiple Attorney Perspectives
Compensation Available to Car Accident Passengers
As a passenger in a car accident, you have a right to hire a lawyer and pursue compensation for your injuries and losses. When you meet with an attorney, they’ll work with you to calculate how much your case is worth and determine which damages you’re owed.
Depending on your unique circumstances following the crash, you could receive a number of different damages, including:
- Current, ongoing, and future medical costs
- Cost of assistive devices and physical therapy sessions
- Emergency medical treatment expenses
- Lost wages
- Decreased earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
These damages can give you the financial support you need to cover your treatment expenses and cope with the far-reaching impacts of a car crash. However, to ensure your right to the above-mentioned forms of compensation is protected, you’ll want to get started on your car accident case ASAP.
Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Get Started on Your Car Accident Case
In Nebraska, a statute of limitations applies to all car accident plaintiffs, even those who were passengers in a collision. Nebraska Revised Statutes § 25-207 gives you four years from the date of your crash to submit a civil suit against the at-fault motorist.
If you fail to submit your lawsuit on time, you could forfeit your right to fair compensation. Instead of jeopardizing your financial and physical recovery, reach out to a lawyer as soon as you can. If you give them enough time to do their job, they’ll be able to take legal action before it’s too late.
Get Started on Your Car Accident Claim Today
Now that you’re familiar with the rights of a passenger in a car accident, it’s time to exercise your rights by hiring a lawyer and getting started on your claim. To do so, contact a car accident attorney from the team at Berry Law and schedule a free consultation.
Our firm has years of experience fighting on behalf of wrongfully injured individuals like yourself. If you choose to work with a lawyer from our firm, they’ll relentlessly pursue the payment you need to cover your losses and get your life back on track.