Nobody wants to be in a car accident. It almost feels worse if you’re a passenger in an accident. After all, you had no control over the accident, and all that’s left to do now is respond.
Fortunately, you’re not alone in the process.
If you were a passenger in an accident, you’re probably wondering what comes next. Do you wait for the driver’s insurance company to take care of everything? How do you recover physically and financially from the car crash? Do you need to secure an accident attorney to represent you?
This blog will answer those questions. It will also discuss what steps you need to take as a passenger in an accident.
Let’s dive in.
Step One: File a Claim with the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
If the other vehicle driver caused the accident you were involved in, the first step is to file a claim against that driver’s insurance policy.
The at-fault driver’s auto insurance is the primary means of recovery for an injured passenger. In most instances, the at-fault driver’s auto insurance will be where an injured passenger seeks recovery for his/her bodily injuries and unpaid medical bills. Unfortunately in Florida, however, drivers are not required to carry a minimum amount of bodily injury liability insurance. This means you could sustain serious injuries and incur thousands of dollars in medical bills without means for recovery from the at-fault driver.
Step Two: File a Claim with the Insurance Policy of the Person Who Was Driving Your Car
Next, you’ll need to file a claim with the person’s insurance policy who was driving the car you were in. This can be a lifesaver if the other car’s driver only had minimal insurance coverage or NO insurance at all.
The best way to file a claim with your driver’s policy is to go through their personal injury protection (PIP) or medical payments coverage. These policies cover passengers in the car and are designed to pay benefits to people like you.
Keep in mind that not all states require drivers to carry these types of insurance. If your driver didn’t have them at the time of the crash, you might still be able to make a claim for their underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage, if available.
While you may feel guilty filing a claim with your driver’s insurance, you shouldn’t. Remember that you’re not going after the driver or their money. Instead, you’re seeking a payout from their insurance company. Insurance companies, after all, exist to protect people in precisely this situation.
Step Three: File a Claim with Your Car or Health Insurance Policy
Even though you weren’t driving, PIP or MedPay policies on your coverage should extend benefits. These benefits should pay for your medical bills, even if you were just a passenger in another car.
Keep in mind, though, that these policies have their limits and your expenses will most likely not be fully covered under Florida PIP.
At the very least, though, you should be able to get the first $10,000 of your medical bills paid through your Florida PIP coverage.
What if the Driver is Family?
If you live with or are related to the driver of the car you were in, you may not be able to file a claim with their insurance company as you may be considered an insured under the policy in that situation. Insured persons typically can’t file liability claims against the policy that insures them.
Contact a personal injury attorney for advice if you find yourself in this situation.
Hire an Attorney to Help You Navigate This Difficult Time
The period after an auto accident is confusing and complicated. After all, you’re trying to focus on healing and sorting out complex legal and logistical situations.
Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. Here at Ward & Barnes, our team of skilled personal injury lawyers will be here for you every step of the way. Whether you were the driver or a passenger in an accident, we’re happy to help.
Communication With Insurance Companies
One of the most significant benefits of working with our team is that we can help you navigate the insurance companies.
While insurance companies are supposed to provide payouts for damages and injuries they cover, getting them to pay can be tricky. It often requires proving fault, demonstrating injury and damages, and even going to court.
Unless you have a personal injury lawyer on your side, it will be up to you to navigate all of this.
When you work with our team, we’ll fight for you. We gather evidence, present it to the insurance companies, deal with writing up your settlement requests, and make sure that you get the payout you need to facilitate healing and recovery.
Less Worry for You
By handling all of the paperwork and the difficult back-and-forth in the aftermath of your accident, we free you up to focus on healing. While you put your energy into recovering, we’ll put all our energy into going to bat for you.
We’ll reach out when we need information or material from you, but you can trust us to handle your case professionally and aggressively, even when you’re focused on other things.
Our clients are our top priority. Our goal is to handle the details so you can put this entire chapter behind you as quickly as possible. While also getting the payout and compensation that you need to pay your medical bills and replace lost income.
Ready to learn more about our team or our services? And how we help people like you throughout the Pensacola, Florida area? Give us a call today. Our skilled car accident attorneys are happy to answer any questions you may have.