Injured in Someone Else’s Vehicle? Here’s What to Do Next

Injured in Someone Else’s Vehicle Here’s What to Do NextPerhaps if you had been driving, the accident would never have happened, but alas­—here you are­—an injured passenger wondering what to do next. If you are involved in an accident while riding in someone else’s vehicle, your initial actions should be very similar to what you should do if you had been driving, with some key differences.

In this article, we will discuss the steps you should take after you are injured in a motor vehicle accident as a passenger and what your options are to recover compensation for your damages.

1.    Get to a safe place and call the police.

Following an accident, your first step should always be to get to a safe place and call the police. If you are a passenger of a vehicle and the vehicle is in harm’s way, you should ask the driver to move the car if they are physically able to. If the car is immovable or the driver is not able to move the car, assess the safety of your current position. If you believe the vehicle is in a vulnerable place and you can safely get out of the car and move yourself to a safer place, you should do so. Of course, every situation is different, so even though stress is high following a car accident, try to remain calm and make the wisest decision you can in the circumstances.

Then, call the police right away. It is important for the police to report to the scene of the accident and take a report. This information will be very important later if you need to file a claim of compensation for your injuries.

2.    Seek medical attention immediately.

If you believe you have been injured at all during the accident, seek medical attention immediately. If there is a chance you may need an ambulance, accept one. It is important to not understate the severity of your potential injuries. You need to ensure that you receive proper treatment and that all of your injuries are properly documented by a medical professional as soon as possible.

If you later file a claim for compensation from the driver responsible for causing the accident, one of the elements you will have to prove is causation­—that the driver’s negligence was the actual cause of your injuries. If there is no gap in time between the accident and recordation of your injuries, it will be more difficult for the other party to cast doubt on the cause of your injuries.

3.    Collect names, contact information, and insurance information from all drivers involved in the accident.

While your initial instinct as an injured passenger may be to sit back and let the drivers involved in the accident exchange information or provide their information to the police, it is important that you get involved in this step. Ask each of the drivers involved for their full legal name, phone number, and motor vehicle insurance information. Do not obtain this information from the driver of your vehicle only or the driver who you believe to be at fault only. Collect this information from ALL drivers. You may have incorrectly perceived which party was at fault. As the passenger of a vehicle, you need to ultimately be compensated for your injuries, regardless of who was at fault and which insurance company pays you that compensation.

4.    Meticulously document all injuries, symptoms, treatment, and limitations.

Begin to document your injuries and symptoms right away. You want your injuries to be documented in official medical records, but it is also very useful to keep a journal on your pain and symptoms, so you can communicate this information to your medical provider.

It is also important that you document any limitations that you observe of your physical abilities. Are you having trouble standing up? Carrying groceries? Lifting your child? Turning your neck? Make note of all of these limitations along with the date and time. Then, report these physical limitations to your medical provider.

5.    File a claim for compensation through the insurance company of the driver of the vehicle you were riding in.

When you are insured as a passenger in someone else’s vehicle, it is typically best to pursue compensation through the insurance company of the driver of the vehicle you were riding in. If the individual who was driving the vehicle you were in was not responsible for causing the accident, then their insurance company should pursue compensation from the at-fault driver on your behalf.

6.    Contact a personal injury lawyer.

Navigating injury compensation as a passenger can be confusing. It can also feel awkward to try to negotiate your claim with the insurance company of someone you know. Finally, insurance companies are concerned with their profitability and will often try to settle your claim for far less than what you are legally entitled to. Retaining a car accident attorney to handle your claim for you and negotiate on your behalf can ensure that you recover the maximum compensation that you deserve.

You can turn to Hicks Law Firm for pursing compensation for your injuries, medical bills, and lost wages caused by an accident in which you were a passenger. We have locations in Costa Mesa and Nashville and work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you do not owe any legal fees out of pocket. We only get paid if you win your case through a settlement or court judgment. Call 949-541-9944 or fill out our online contact form for a complimentary consultation of your case.