Car insurance is required on every vehicle in Canada and it covers the cost to repair damage to the other vehicle, and/or damage that your car has sustained. However, what happens to passengers who are injured as a result of the car accident? They are the unfortunate bystanders who were not in control or responsible for the accident, but they still have to deal with the outcome, whatever that may be. Luckily, passengers are able to file a passenger injury claim to cover their medical expenses and any other costs incurred as a result of the accident. There are a few important points that car accident lawyers want you to keep in mind if you have to go through this process.
1. First Step
The first thing you need to do after being involved in a car accident is call the police, even if there appear to be no serious injuries. Some claims may require you to have a police report in order to file.
Even if your injuries seem superficial, seek medical attention. Some serious injuries are not obvious, so it is best to see a doctor and complete any recommended tests, and follow their medical advice for recovery and rehabilitation. It is also important to keep a copy of all your medical records that outline the injuries you sustained in the accident. This can be used to support your claim and help make a stronger case.
2. Who is at Fault?
Before you can file a claim, the involved insurance companies will need to determine which party is at fault. Their decision will determine who you, as a passenger, will be filing your claim against.
While it is the responsibility of the driver to follow road rules and drive safely, even if you are in the vehicle that is at fault, you specifically are not at fault. The only way a passenger can be considered responsible for causing an accident is if they interfere with the driver (for example, by grabbing the steering wheel, purposely injuring the driver while the car is in motion, etc).
3. Filing a Claim
Once the insurance companies have finished their investigations and have determined who is at fault, then you can proceed with filing a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. This will help you to get the rightful compensation you deserve, which will cover the expenses incurred and any potential wages lost, as a result of the accident. A car accident lawyer will be able to walk you through the entire process to ensure that you receive adequate compensation.
4. Multiple Injured Parties
So you have filed your claim and everything is in the process of being worked out; what now? At this point it is important to keep in mind that if multiple passengers were injured in the same collision you may have to settle for less than if you were the sole injured passenger. If all the injured parties are filing a claim against one negligent driver, then the total sum may exceed the driver’s liability car insurance coverage. In this case a car accident lawyer can help determine what the settlement value could be for you, versus the other passengers.
5. Protect Yourself
It is important that you know your rights and protect yourself. If you were injured because of someone else’s negligence, it is in your best interest to get legal counsel from a car accident lawyer. It is best to not navigate this process alone as the law can be complex and the other party is very likely to be well-represented.
Being involved in a car accident is traumatic, both when you are the driver or a passenger, and whether you are the victim or responsible for causing the accident. If you have been injured and wish to file a passenger injury claim, the good news is that there are a few different options to help recover your losses. Contact a car accident lawyer today to learn more.