Most drivers know essentially what to do after a car accident: remain at the scene, call the police, do not admit fault and file an insurance claim. As a passenger, your tasks might not be as obvious. You did not cause the car accident, so someone else may be liable for your personal injuries and related expenses. Knowing where to turn for insurance coverage can help you take the right steps toward financial recovery as a passenger involved in a crash in Texas.
Who Is Liable?
As a passenger, you have many of the same rights as you would if you were the driver of the car in a car accident – without the issue of fault potentially decreasing your recovery award. You have the right to file an insurance claim against the at-fault party. Under Texas’ fault-based insurance laws, this is the initial outlet you will use to seek compensation.
File an insurance claim against the driver that caused your collision. This may mean making a phone call to the insurance company of the person who was driving you or the driver of the other vehicle. If you are unsure about fault, file your claim with the insurer of the driver in your vehicle. The insurance company will investigate and may seek compensation for your damages through the other party’s insurer, if necessary. You could also file with your own insurance company if the at-fault party does not have insurance.
Do You Have to Prove Liability?
Many insurance companies make it difficult for car accident survivors to receive benefits for their damages. You may have to take a few steps to prove the liability of the person from whom you are seeking money damages before the insurer will accept your passenger injury claim. You may even need to hire a San Antonio car accident attorney to help you investigate the crash and collect evidence of fault. Proving liability generally means establishing the defendant’s negligence.
- The driver, property owner, automaker or another party owed you a duty of care.
- The defendant breached his or her duty of care, negligently or on purpose.
- The defendant’s breach of duty caused the auto accident.
- The defendant’s actions caused you compensable damages or losses.
Proof in a passenger injury claim could include police reports, photographs, videos, eyewitness statements, and medical records. A car accident attorney can help you and others involved in the crash collect evidence to prove liability to an insurance company. Proving negligence, such as another driver breaking a traffic rule, could lead to fair compensation for your damages as an injured passenger.
What Damages Are Recoverable?
Do not accept your injuries and damages without a fight as a passenger in a car accident in Texas. The negligent party may owe you compensation. You did not have any control over the operation of the vehicle. Texas’ comparative negligence laws will not apply to you as a negligence-free passenger. You should, therefore, be eligible for 100% recovery as a non-liable party. Reaching a settlement with an insurance company or bringing a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant could end in a monetary award for several of your crash-related damages.
- Personal injuries
- Property losses
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Disability expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Legal fees
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Punitive damages
Whether you have minor or major injuries from a car accident in which you were a passenger, someone may owe you compensation. A lawyer can discuss with you how much your claim might be worth, as well as explain your legal options. One or both drivers may be liable for your damages. If you need assistance forcing an insurance company to offer a fair settlement, contact a car accident lawyer to take over negotiations. A lawyer could help you take all available opportunities to obtain fair compensation.