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I was a Passenger in a Car Accident. What Are My Rights?

Getting in an accident as a driver is fairly straightforward. If you get hurt and it’s your fault, your insurance company will have to pay the other party’s damages. If you get hurt and it’s the other driver’s fault, you may be entitled to compensation from their insurance company. But what happens if you are just a passenger when a car crash occurs?

If you have been injured in an auto accident in Alabama, you deserve legal representation that looks out for you. Schedule a consultation with Burns, Cunningham & Mackey now by calling us at 800-574-4332.

Right to Compensation for Your Injuries

You are entitled to compensation for your injuries. As a passenger, you had no role in the accident, so you deserve to be made whole for what you’ve lost. It is important to seek medical care shortly after an accident, so hopefully you got checked out right away. The liable party, whether it’s the driver of the car you were in or someone else, should pay for those expenses.

Right to Compensation for Lost Income

Being injured can leave you out of work, whether it’s for a few days or a lifetime. That’s a serious blow to any family, and it’s not a loss you should have to carry alone—especially when the accident was not your fault. Keep track of time you have to spend away from work and give your documentation to your attorney.

Don’t forget to note any days that you had to leave early because you were unable to perform your work tasks or you were in too much pain to keep working. Anything related to the accident that impacts your income should be documented and reported.

Right to Compensation for Other Losses

After a car accident, your losses go beyond your medical bills and time off of work. Other types of compensation you may be entitled to include:

  • Property damage, if anything of yours was destroyed in the car crash
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish

Factors Complicating Your Passenger Rights

While you may have a right to compensation after a car accident, actually recovering that compensation can be very difficult. First, you may hit a roadblock if it’s hard to determine who is at fault for the accident. Many accidents are cut-and-dry, so it’s easy to see whose error in judgment led to the collision. Those that are more complicated could leave you waiting a long time for compensation.

You may also have difficulty collecting compensation if the liable driver does not have insurance or is underinsured. No matter how high your damages are, you can typically only collect up to the policy limits. If the driver is completely uninsured, you may not be able to collect any compensation. You would have to sue them directly, and any award would come from their assets. But drivers without insurance aren’t likely to have significant available assets.

Another complicating factor is when the liable driver is your friend or family member. Getting compensation after a car accident shouldn’t be a personal issue that affects your relationship with a loved one, but too often, people think of it as a personal slight. Even if the liable driver is close to you, the compensation you receive will come from their insurance company, not from them directly.

How an Attorney Can Help

As you can see, accident claims for passengers can be complicated. Neither party’s insurance company is on your side, so you don’t want to rely on what they tell you deserve and can recover. Instead, bring in an attorney who can look at the situation objectively and fight for your best interests.

A personal injury attorney can look at the facts of the case, determine whether or not you are entitled to compensation, and help you fight for what you’re owed. They will also handle negotiations, allowing you to avoid uncomfortable situations with your loved one.

Find Out How Burns, Cunningham & Mackey Can Help

If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, you deserve a personal injury attorney who’s willing to advocate for you every step of the day. Learn more about your legal options now by calling us at 800-574-4332 or contacting us online.