What to do if You are a Passenger Injured in a Car Accident
Passengers are not at fault for car crashes, which means that they can file a claim for injuries against the driver who caused their accident. This could include the driver of the car that collided with the injured passenger’s vehicle or the driver of the car that the passenger was in at the time of the crash. Although the latter situation can be awkward for those who were traveling with friends when they were injured, it is often a necessary step for those who require treatment for their injuries. Fortunately, if you were injured in an accident and your friend was the driver, you may not even have to discuss it with him or her at all, but can leave that up to an experienced car accident attorney. This helps ensure that you and your friend can focus on rehabilitation, while also protecting your friendship and is an especially critical step in multi-vehicle crashes when more than one party could be at fault.
Whose Insurance Company Will Help Pay My Medical Bills?
In Texas, when a passenger is injured in an accident, the at-fault driver’s insurer is required to pay compensation for all injuries. This means that if you were injured as a passenger, you would need to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company, which could be either your friend’s insurer or the other party’s insurer, and in some cases, both. When the other driver was at fault, it is especially important for the injured party to take the following steps:
- Obtain his or her name and insurance information;
- Write down his or her license plate number;
- Call the police and request a copy of the police report;
- Take pictures of the scene of the accident;
- Note whether the other driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Obtain his or her driver’s vehicle registration number; and
- Write down his or her driver’s license number.
In the event that the at-fault party’s insurance does not cover all of an injured passenger’s expenses, he or she may be able to use Personal Injury Protection (PIP) provided by his or her own insurer.
What if I do Not Want to Sue My Friend for the Accident?
No one wants to take a friend to court, but it is important to note that as a passenger in a vehicle that was involved in a crash, you would not actually need to collect compensation from your friend directly. Instead, that person’s insurance company will cover your accident-related damages. In fact, the driver’s insurance rates might not even change, so he or she would experience little financial strain as a result of filing a claim. In most cases, your friend will be most concerned about you recovering fully from your injuries, which requires funds to pay for diagnosis and treatment.
Get the Legal Representation You Deserve
If you were injured in a car accident, but were not the driver of either car, please contact Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C. at 713-221-6800 to speak with a dedicated attorney about collecting compensation from the at-fault party’s insurer.